Oxygen concentrators are a huge help for people with difficulty in breathing but issues regarding its convenience when it comes to its handiness comes up. With this given comes the new and improved version which is the portable oxygen concentrator. How do they work, you may ask? Portable oxygen concentrators work almost the same with your home domestic concentrators but bring about new improvements which cater to the concerns of increased mobility and flexibility for their users.
Basically here’s how portable oxygen concentrators work:
- Air contains 21% Oxygen combined with Nitrogen and a mixture of other gases. A miniaturized compressor inside the machine will pressurize this air through a system of chemical filters known as a molecular sieve.
- This molecular sieve is made up of silicate granules called Zeolite which will filter the nitrogen out of the “air” concentrating the Oxygen.
- Part of the produced Oxygen is delivered to the patient; part is fed back into the sieves to clear the system from the accumulated nitrogen, making it ready for the next cycle.
- Through this process, this system is capable of producing medical grade oxygen of up to 96% consistently.
- can be powered from main electricity supply & battery packs making the patient free from relying on using cylinders & other current solutions that put a restriction on time, weight & size.
- Unlike tanks or cylinders, portable oxygen concentrators extract oxygen from the air around us so you won’t be having any problem with your oxygen supply as long as there’s air around.
With the existence of portable oxygen concentrators, the convenience for the inconvenienced that have difficulty in breathing is very much within reach.
The Federal Aviation Administration declared that travelers needing medical oxygen now have the choice of using four additional portable oxygen concentrators while traveling, bringing the total up to 11 approved units.
DeVilbiss iGo, International Biophysics Corporation’s LifeChoice, Inogen’s Inogen One G2 and Oxlife’s Independence Oxygen Concentrator are the newly authorized devices.
According to Randy Babbitt, FAA Administrator, this is the latest step toward making the air travel more accessible for people who need medical oxygen. They want these passengers to have more options while ensuring all of the safety guidelines are being met.
Portable oxygen concentrators provide oxygen to users at more than 90% concentration. They do not use compressed or liquid oxygen which the government classifies as hazardous material. Portable oxygen concentrators are small, mobile devices that separate oxygen from nitrogen as well as other gases in the air.
The Department of Transportation requires that U.S. carriers allow passengers to use portable oxygen concentrators approved by the FAA during all phases of a flight-including taxiing, takeoff and landing- as long as the unit displays a manufacturer’s label that shows it meets FAA requirements for portable medical electronic devices.
The passenger should ensure that the unit is in good condition and must be able to respond to unit’s warning alarms. They must keep extra batteries in carry on baggage from short circuits and physical damage.
An airline carrier can refuse to allow in-flight use of an FAA approved portable oxygen concentrator that does not have a manufacturer’s label that shows it complies with FAA requirements.
The following are the portable oxygen concentrators previously approved by the FAA:
- Delphi Medical System RS-00400
- Invacare XP02
- AirSep Lifestyle
- AirSep Freestyle
- Inogen One
- SeQual Eclipse
- Respironics EverGo
What is a portable oxygen concentrator, you may ask. An oxygen concentrator is a machine that separates oxygen from other elements or gases in the air around us and then supplies it to the patient. With the keyword “portable” clinging before it, it is not hard to assume that it is something which we can carry around for convenience. In short, a portable oxygen concentrator is a modernized form of oxygen concentrator which brings the advantage of the latter to a much new level. Oxygen users can now have much more mobility than they ever had with their old oxygen concentrators due to its portability.
The word portable/oxygen concentrator might seem a bit complicated but its purpose and advantages can be explained very simply:
- With oxygen making up approximately 21% of the air around us, the portable oxygen concentrator separates the oxygen from other types of gases and supplies it to the patient.
- Oxygen concentrators are powered by electricity through outlets or rechargeable batteries which makes it easy and convenient to use anywhere.
- Both stationary and portable oxygen concentrators make a noise as the motor is working. It is very helpful as it serves as a warning sign, that when you can’t hear the motor noise then it’s not working. Unlike with tanks and cylinders that just hiss between deliveries, it would take a while before you notice that it’s not working anymore.
- Unlike tanks or cylinders which store oxygen, oxygen concentrators are pretty much flexible itself. Since they extract oxygen from the air around us, then you won’t be having any problem with your oxygen supply.
To sum it up, the greatest edge in purchasing a portable oxygen concentrator versus other oxygen delivery systems is its portability and flexibility. Answering the frequent grumbles of extra oxygen users of long ago that involves their lack of mobility and probable risk of lacking oxygen supply at unexpected times.
When you think of traveling or getting on a plane with a portable oxygen concentrator, two things would cross your mind: great hassle and inconvenience. If you only have the choice not to take it with you, you would. But because it is very indispensible, there is nothing you can do but to tag it along with you.
Going from one place to another with a portable oxygen concentrator may sound delicate, but it’s actually not. If you know the things you need to do, you will realize that it’s not that complicated after all. So what are the things you need to consider in order to prevent travel mishaps with your oxygen concentrator?
Here are some tips you would want to consider:
- Check with your doctor first before planning a travel. See to it that you have all the necessary documents in order not to have any complications with the airline during your flight. Also make sure that your portable oxygen concentrator unit is FAA – approved as some airlines are very strict on this matter.
- In order to avoid airline hassles during your travel, contact an airline personnel at least 48 hours before your flight for some queries and necessary arrangements. Each airline has its own specific security and safety measures when it comes to passengers with special medical needs, so you’ve got to make an inquiry beforehand.
- Take down all conversations during the call as well as the time, date, and the name of the personnel you have spoken to. This can help you a lot in case any issue happens during the trip.
- Make sure that your portable oxygen concentrator batteries are fully charged. See to it that you have extra batteries with you in order to sustain not only the whole flight, but also the pre-flight and post-flight activities. Expect for possible flight delays and ensure that your batteries can exceedingly serve you by a minimum of 50% of the time.
- In case you are renting a portable oxygen concentrator, get it a couple days earlier and try it out to check if it’s functioning very well and won’t have any irregularities during the travel.
There is nothing more frustrating than missing your flight because you missed out an important detail with regards to traveling with your portable oxygen concentrator. So if you want your flight to be convenient and hassle-free, consider the things you need to do when traveling with your portable oxygen concentrator.