FAQS ON oxygen concentrator.

No, Oxygen is not addictive at all. A large number of patients express their concern regarding this and try to decrease the time they are on Oxygen or totally avoid it. Supplemental Oxygen is prescribed because the lungs have become weak due to condition like COPD and the 21% Oxygen of air is now not sufficient for lungs which results in low level of O2 in blood. In order to make lungs feel like as if they are exactly in a normal healthy environment, they need some extra Oxygen so that the Oxygen exchange with blood is exactly same as it would have been with normal healthy lungs.
No, using more than prescribed oxygen can cause Oxygen toxicity/Oxygen poisoning in the body which has many harmful effects like damage to eyes, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), alveolar damage, destruction of neurons , etc
No, you should use Oxygen exactly as prescribed by the physician. Using less than prescribed Oxygen can cause low levels of Oxygen in blood which can further cause poor memory, irritable mood, poor cognition, shortness of breath, headaches and much more. Using less than prescribed oxygen for longer periods of time also deteriorates lung’s health and causes the disease to grow.
The ideal amount of Oxygen is decided by your physician; he does it by carefully analyzing your ABGs. In most cases, the goal is to keep your Oxygen levels above 88% which after prescription is monitored using Oximetry. In healthy individuals, ideal saturation of Oxygen in blood is 95-99%.
It is recommended to keep an Oxygen cylinder as a backup source. After all, concentrator is a machine and any machine can fail anytime.
There are mainly 3 sources of Oxygen for therapy: Oxygen Concentrators: Machines that concentrate Oxygen from room air. Just need a power source to work. Main article: Oxygen Concentrator Oxygen Cylinder: Compressed Oxygen in a cylinder – Conventional way of Oxygen therapy. Liquid Oxygen: Usually used in central supplies of hospitals. Liquid oxygen is stored in freezing cold tanks and allowed to boil at 90.188K (-186.92°C) to release Oxygen gas.
Do not confuse Oxygen delivery systems with the Oxygen sources listed in the previous question. The Oxygen delivery systems are used to deliver Oxygen from sources like Oxygen concentrators or cylinders to nose or mouth. The most commonly used delivery systems are Nasal Cannula and simple Face Mask. Some of the other Oxygen delivery systems are reservoir cannulas , trans-tracheal catheters, non-rebreathing face masks with reservoir and one way valve and venturi masks.
All brands are good; the most important thing is that the Oxygen Concentrator you are planning to buy should carry some international approvals like FDA, CE & ISO. The second most important thing is that the specifications should suit your requirement. The parameters you can consider to compare different models of different brands can be flow rate, battery backup, alarms (especially low purity of Oxygen), weight, power consumption and portability.
Yes, Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POC) can be used while sleeping. Note that POCs have 2 modes: Pulse mode and Continuous mode. In Pulse mode, POCs will work as long as you breathe through nose and that too with sufficient pressure to trigger a breath in the machine. It is recommended to use POC with high sensitivity as during sleep the triggering pressure of each breath drops. For sleep, continuous mode of Oxygen is ideal because while sleeping, there are chances that patient may not breathe through nose all the time which means if patient is breathing through open mouth then there are less chances of activating a pulse mode concentrator. However, you must consult your physician before using a particular POC for sleep.
You feel this because the temperature of Oxygen coming out of the machine is exactly the same as room temperature. However, this is proven that effectiveness of Oxygen from both the sources is virtually the same. What you need to see is the Oxygen saturation in your blood and you can check this using an Oximeter.
The purpose of humidification is to provide moisture which makes Oxygen therapy comfortable; if not used, can cause dryness in airways of nose and throat. Usually, use of humidifier is recommended in continuous flow of more than 3 LPM.
That may be because your POC is a pulse flow only POC. In Pulse Flow, Oxygen is delivered only when patient inhales which doesn’t cause dryness unlike continuous flow of Oxygen, therefore, humidification is not required. However, if your Portable Oxygen Concentrator has continuous flow option then you need to talk to your equipment provider.
It is recommended to use clean drinking water for humidifier as after all you are going to breathe through it. There is no hard and fast rule for cleaning but there is no harm in having good daily cleaning practices just by rinsing through fresh water and replacing the water in the bottle.
Most people prefer nasal cannula as it doesn’t look medical but most cannulas have a limitation that they are effective for flows up to 6 Litres Per Minute (LPM). There are special cannulas for higher flow (you may check with your equipment provider). However, if you get rashes in your nostrils by use of cannula or if your flow requirement is above 6 LPM then a simple face mask is used by most people.
All the concentrators with continuous flow can work with PAP devices. All stationary/home concentrators have continuous flow but some portable models have just pulse flow mode. Pulse flow is not suited for use with PAP devices.