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How to Use Oxygen Concentrator the Right Way: Key Tips

Marc Kaplan


The portable oxygen concentrator market will grow by 11% by 2023. As the demand continues to grow, it’s essential for the market to familiarize with how to use an oxygen concentrator. One of the factors that’ll boost growth is the prevailing presence of assisted living.

In both developed and developing countries, the presence of home-care settings has also increased the demand. The rising incidence of chronic diseases like asthma and obesity is also responsible for the rising demand. On a larger scale, government expenditure in the healthcare sector is on the increase.

If you find yourself using the machine, here’s how to use an oxygen concentrator the right way.

What to Do When Using Oxygen

Home supplemental oxygen can be delivered in three forms. The first one is the gas form in the traditional bullet-shaped oxygen cylinder. It can also be delivered in liquid form, through a barrel-shaped tank.

Upon release from the barrel, the liquid gas converts into gas. Thirdly, it can be delivered through an oxygen concentrator. This works by extracting oxygen from the air around you.

When used in the right way, home oxygen is quite safe. Before we delve into how to use an oxygen concentrator, let’s look at some general rules. These apply to all types of oxygen cylinders and forms.  

Dos

Here are some of the things experts recommend when using an oxygen concentrator:

  • Post a “No Smoking” sign where oxygen is in use
  • Notify the local fire department of the oxygen in your house
  • Have a functioning smoke alarm near the room
  • Have a fire extinguisher close at hand
  • Store the oxygen concentrator in a well-ventilated area
  • Turn off the oxygen when not in use
  • Use 100% cotton bed linens and blankets
  • Use water-based lubricants only when needed
  • Stay away from open flames like a gas heater or stove
  • Monitor the gauge of the oxygen equipment
  • Notify your supplier in good time for a refill
  • Ask your doctor or supplier any questions you might have

Cleaning and caring for your oxygen concentrator can vary depending type of delivery system. In learning how to use an oxygen concentrator, there is also the other side of situations you should avoid.

Don’ts

These are the things you shouldn't do. Some of them can actually be dangerous:

  • Don’t change the flow rate of oxygen from the doctor’s prescription
  • Avoid smoking while on oxygen
  • Avoid petroleum-based lubricants on chapped lips
  • Don’t use flammable materials like sprays near oxygen equipment
  • The oxygen tubes shouldn’t be longer than 50-feet long
  • Don’t store the oxygen in enclosed spaces
  • Don’t use alcohol-based hand sanitizers

It’s also crucial to note that the oxygen cylinder should be stored in an upright position. Use a cart or a strap to avoid it toppling over. Always have back up tanks available to avoid running short of supply.

Using Your Oxygen Concentrator

Generally, the kind of oxygenator you’ll be allowed to use around your home weighs around 30 pounds. It’s the size of a kitchen trash receptacle and hence very portable. While running, the concentrator produces a slight humming but quiet sound that can put you to sleep.

The size of the concentrators makes them less ideal for traveling purposes. They also lack a rechargeable battery and can only be used when plugged in. You can ask your doctor to help you with choosing a concentrator best for your needs.

Let your doctor guide you in getting the settings of the concentrator right. The machines come with different settings. The input of your doctor and supply manual will help get them right.

Step By Step Guide for Using Your Oxygen Concentrator

Once you’ve bought your machine, here’s how to use oxygen concentrator at home:

  1. Connect the power cord to the power source and switch it on
  2. Place the machine one to two feet away from the power source
  3. Connect the humidifier for continuous oxygen flow
  4. Check that the particle filler is in place
  5. Connect the nasal mask and ensure the tubing is in the correct position
  6. Press the Power Button on the machine
  7. Set the oxygen flow as recommended by the doctor
  8. Put the nasal mask in a glass of water and bubble out oxygen. This ensures proper flow of oxygen
  9. Breathe through the nasal mask

Be sure to follow these steps. Also, check its manual for more information when you're not sure about anything.

Taking Care of Your Oxygen Concentrator

When using your oxygen concentrator, there are things you need to do to take care of it. Some of them are just basic maintenance practices.

  1. Use a voltage stabilizer to keep your machine safe during power fluctuations
  2. Keep the concentrator away from the walls while in use
  3. Your machine will be exposed to dust, which will choke the filters of the machine at some point. When the filters fail to work, the quality of your oxygen drops. Most machines will give an alarm when this happens.

Although you can’t get rid of dust from the environment, avoid using the machine in a dusty area. Besides, turning off the machine and covering it while cleaning the house will help keep dust down.

Be sure to let your machine rest once in a while. They are designed to run 24 hours, but they can overheat. It helps to give it 20-30 minutes of rest every 7-8 hours. Use the standby cylinder when the machine is off.

Check for mice that get their way into the machine and chew wires. Such exposure will make the machine break down.

When humidifying the machine, use clean drinking water. This will help avoid any blockages in the long term.

Avoid moving the machine through terrains. Lifting it is more recommendable in such places. Also, don’t spill water over the machine and don’t keep it near fire or smoke.

If you take good care of your oxygen concentrator, it’ll meet your needs for a long time to come.

How to Use an Oxygen Concentrator - Take Away

Due to certain health conditions, you may find yourself put on oxygen by your doctor. If this happens, you need to know how to use an oxygen concentrator machine. The machine can break down if you don't take good care of it.

Remember that replacing it isn't cheap. The primary care procedures include not exposing your machine to flammable materials. Additionally, avoid exposing to dust and placing it near the walls.

Ensure you have the flow rate settings recommended by your physician. The wrong settings will result in inadequate treatment of your condition. If you need help, always feel free to ask your doctor.

If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to us.