Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Portable oxygen concentrators are an excellent choice if they will provide the oxygen you need!  They can be easily charged at any 110v outlet or 12v power outlet.  No need to carry a supply of oxygen with you but an extra battery makes them even more flexible.  They are easy to carry and are a good if they supply the oxygen you need.

Unfortunately, portable oxygen concentrators often do not supply the needed oxygen. 

I am going to break it down into three groups.  In the first group, they supply the needed oxygen. In the second group they may almost supply the needed oxygen for some.  In the third group, they don't supply the needed oxygen.  This is based on my personal experiences. 

For the first group pocs work great. They provide the needed oxygen. They are lightweight. They can be charged in your home or car.  And those in this group have a prescription for 1 LPM of supplemental oxygen or less.  The blood oxygen levels may still drop into the mid-eighties while mobile.

The second group have a prescription for2 LPM of supplemental oxygen or less and the pocs will provide some mobility, but the blood oxygen levels will drop to the low to mid-eighties when active.  Reducing activities and moving slower may keep blood oxygen levels in the mid-eighties and above.  Using a shopping cart or a walker with 8-inch wheels will help blood oxygen levels while walking.

The third group have prescriptions for 2 LPM of supplemental oxygen or higher, and blood oxygen levels may drop into the seventies if active.  Pocs do not supply the needed oxygen to this group even though they may be able to do more and recover from shortness of breath quicker.

I am in the third group and for three years used an Inogen One G3 poc.  It was better than having no mobile supplemental oxygen and did help me stay active but did not come close to suppling the supplemental oxygen I needed.  I continued to play tennis(doubles) ride an electric bike, walk using a shopping cart and travel.   While active I continually monitored my blood oxygen level and heart rate with an oximeter just as I had in the years before starting supplemental oxygen.  If my blood oxygen level dropped to the low eighties or below I would bring it back up to the high eighties by pursed lip breathing.  Watching my heart rate was also important.


How do I know that I'm using the right amount of supplemental oxygen?

To determine if you're getting the right amount of supplemental oxygen, your oxygen saturation must be measured while you are using your oxygen. Your provider or a respiratory therapist from the oxygen supplier should test your oxygen saturation on oxygen while you are at rest, while walking and, if indicated, while you are asleep. As long as your saturation is in the 90s, you are getting the right amount of supplemental oxygen.

From https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/the-need-for-supplemental-oxygen

Should I buy my own finger oximeter to test my oxygen saturations?

It is probably a good idea to buy a finger oximeter, so that you are sure you are getting the right amount of supplemental oxygen. Finger oximeters are available on the internet, through medical supply companies and even in sporting goods stores.

From https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/the-need-for-supplemental-oxygen


If your blood oxygen levels go into the seventies or low eighties when moving about let your Physician know.  Document what you were doing and the sp02 level. Then ask to be prescribed more oxygen.

Be proactive in your own care!

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