A portable oxygen concentrator can literally save your life, and for many people they are the only things that allow them to leave the house or live in a fashion any way approaching normal. In fact, they are a growing presence in the community of people who suffer from lung disease, and more and more are saying that it allows them to do things that the old tank systems simply did not permit. But what should you look for in that sort of device?
The first thing that you should consider when purchasing one of these is durability. This actually means two different things. Durability can be talking about the physical housing and how well it stands up to bangs, bumps, and drops. After all, this is a portable unit, designed to be on the move, and therefore much more prone to accidents that could prove very difficult to handle, especially in an emergency. A strong casing and carrier are absolute musts.
However, durability can also refer to battery life. A portable oxygen concentrator is an electronic device and therefore need to be either plugged into an outlet or be running on battery power in order to work. Ideally, the longer the battery life, the less you have to worry about being without oxygen while out and about. Most portable oxygen concentrators these days have battery lives in the range of six to ten hours of use with a double battery, though advancing technology predicts that soon we’ll have batteries that can power a typical concentrator for twelve or sixteen hours, perhaps even longer.
Size and weight should also play a large part in which portable oxygen concentrator you consider buying. In this case, smaller and lighter concentrators tend to be better. They are “portable”, after all, and a 17 pound device is not nearly as easy to tote about town as one might expect. Portable models are getting lighter and smaller all the time, and many these days weigh as little as eight, five, or even three pounds. There was a time not very long ago that the very idea of such a light unit was absolutely unheard of.
There aren’t a whole lot of factors to consider, but all of them are very important. This is a medical device that for many people is the difference between life and death while running errands, visiting friends and family, or just taking a walk. The ability to carry it comfortably and trust that it will work when it’s needed is absolutely key to any such purchase.