Choose the Best POC for Your Daily Lifestyle
Choose the Best POC for Your Daily Lifestyle
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a portable oxygen concentrator (POC). You’ll need to select a model that is portable, long-lasting, quiet and affordable; but most importantly, you’ll need a POC that meets your physical needs.
When patients suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a POC is used to relieve symptoms and return the blood oxygen level to normal saturation, thereby allowing patients to participate in daily activities without becoming dizzy or short of breath.
If you are preparing to purchase a POC, this means you have a prescription and your physician has determined your LPM. If not, talk to your physician about your options if you believe oxygen therapy is right for you.
Identify the ideal oxygen flow for your needs
There are two types of concentrators available: continuous flow and pulse flow models.
Continuous flow POCs produce a consistent flow of pure oxygen at a rate of 1 to 5 liters per minute. However, these continuous flow concentrators often produce wasted oxygen because these models will continue the oxygen flow even when the user is not breathing in, causing some oxygen to dissipate, unused.
Pulse flow POCs release oxygen in puffs when the user inhales through the nose. These models release oxygen in coordination with the user’s inhalations so as to eliminate wasted oxygen. However, they may not be as effective at night when the user is asleep.
When choosing a POC, your physician will give a prescription that indicates a flow rate for either continuous or intermittent flow. We then recommend that you test a couple of different models while using a pulse oximeter. This will record the oxygen saturation in your bloodstream to ensure you’re receiving the correct amount of oxygen from the POC.
Choose a POC that fits your lifestyle
After identifying the POCs that meet your body’s physical needs, the next step is to narrow down models by prioritizing your lifestyle needs. Consider the following factors for choosing the best POC model:
1. Pick a portable POC
When choosing a POC, you want the flexibility to travel freely. Look for POCs that are lightweight, small and easy to carry.
Just keep in mind that if you have higher oxygen needs and require a heavier oxygen flow rate, these POCs tend to be larger. The equipment required to produce greater amounts of oxygen results in a larger POC which may need a cart to be portable.
Another element to consider when picking a portable POC is the amount of time you spend traveling. If you are a frequent--or even occasional--traveler be sure to choose a POC model that has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Only devices with FAA approval will be accepted onboard aircrafts. At Go2POC, we are committed to providing solutions for freedom and flexibility, so all our POCs are FAA approved.
2. Choose a model with enough battery life to meet your needs
The amount of time a POC battery lasts depends on your oxygen flow rate. If you require a higher flow rate, the POC will have to convert more air to oxygen, causing it to use more power and burn through a battery more quickly. The longer a battery is required to last without a charge, the larger the battery must be. Large batteries can then cause the machine to be bigger, making it heavier and less portable.
Batteries are also subject to rules when traveling via plane. Though most airlines will allow POCs, they frequently require you to travel with a fully-charged battery supply that will last the length of your flights with transfers plus additional charges ranging from three hours to the full length of the flight time. Since these requirements vary from airline to airline, we recommend consulting the airline’s regulations before making arrangements to travel.
3. Determine your preferred noise level
POCs are generally quieter than typical home-based oxygen concentrators. Yet even POCs will produce a low hum during operation. A good rule of thumb is to check the decibel range on a POC before purchasing.
Most POCs range from 37 to 50 decibels, with a 40-decibel device producing the same level of sound as a quiet library. The American Academy of Audiology indicates that moderate rainfall produces 50 decibels, which is even less than the sound of a dishwasher at 60 decibels. Identifying the level of noise, a POC may produce will help you determine if it’s the correct device for your home and on the go.
4. Find an affordable model
When selecting a POC, it’s smart to choose a machine that will meet your needs long term. Rather than picking a smaller model that would require you to set the flow rates to the highest settings, choose a model that will allow for incremental increases over time. Since your oxygen dosage may change as you age, it’s important to select a machine that can accommodate potential increases in flow rate or oxygen levels.
Finally, many POCs come with a limited or extended warranty to guarantee the device in case of malfunction or failure. Having a warranty on your device gives you peace of mind that your equipment will be protected.
Let our team of respiratory specialists know which aspects of your lifestyle are most important to you, and then we’ll work with you to choose a POC that’s perfect for your health and mobility needs.
Portable oxygen doesn’t have to change your life. Let us help you find a POC solution that is best for you.