Oxygen Concentrator Info & Tips

Specialty-Medical.com being one of the biggest suppliers of Oxygen Concentrators [ see current models and prices ] in the United States (FREE Shipping) we receive hundreds of calls about how does an oxygen concentrator work, how do you take care of them, and what are the best brands out there. So we decided to put together a product page explaining all we know about oxygen concentrators and hopefully answering a lot of your questions. It is very important before purchasing an oxygen concentrator or researching if one is right for you that you contact your physician and seek the advice of a professional. Specialty Medical only tries to better inform its customers, but will never claim to know or recommend the products over a Physician's personal recommendation.

Oxygen is an element, a gas, and a drug that can help people who have certain lung diseases. The cells in the body get their energy from the interaction of oxygen with food. The energy produced is used to do everything from breathing, to carrying out bodily functions, to going to the grocery store. Some lung diseases, such as emphysema and sarcoidosis, reduce lung function to the extent that supplemental oxygen is needed to continue normal bodily function. For many people with end stage lung disease, supplemental oxygen allows their bodies to get the oxygen that they need and may also help them be more active.

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At all times, the body is taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. If this process does not happen adequately, the oxygen in the blood will decrease, and the person may need supplemental oxygen.

There are three ways to dispense oxygen in the home. Compressed oxygen gas and liquid oxygen are two ways to have oxygen delivered to the home. Oxygen gas can be compressed and stored in tanks or cylinders of steel or aluminum. These tanks come in many sizes; larger ones are usually left in the bedroom, and smaller ones are used for leaving the house. Liquid oxygen is made by cooling the oxygen gas, which changes it to a liquid form. It is often used by people who are more active because larger amounts of oxygen can be stored in smaller, more convenient containers than compressed oxygen. The disadvantage is that it cannot be kept for a long time because it will evaporate.

In addition, oxygen concentrators are available to deliver higher concentrations in the home. An oxygen concentrator is an electric device about the size of an end table. It produces oxygen by concentrating the oxygen that is already in the air and eliminating other gases. This method is less expensive, easier to maintain, and doesn't require refilling, but it is not portable. Some oxygen concentrators, however, give off heat and are noisy. Back-up methods are necessary in case of a power failure, and the electric bill may rise. For some patients, oxygen concentrators may not deliver adequate oxygen.

For people who do not get enough oxygen naturally, supplements of oxygen can have several benefits. Supplemental oxygen can improve their sleep and mood, increase their mental alertness and stamina, and allow their bodies to carry out normal functions. It also prevents heart failure in people with severe lung disease. Oxygen at very high levels over a long period of time can be toxic and very harmful to one's health; therefore, a doctor's prescription is required.

Manufacturers of Oxygen Concentrators:

Specialty-Medical.com feels it carries the top oxygen concentrators in the medical industry. The Invacare oxygen concentrators and the Devilbiss oxygen concentrators have proved to be the most reliable and most economical backed by the best warranties in the industry. Unlike some of the other oxygen concentrator companies out there Invacare and Devilbiss have one of the largest dealer networks in the country which makes it a lot easier after the purchase to find a qualified service technician to service or repair your oxygen concentrator. This is very important, because a lot of the other companies have very few qualified people that can service your concentrator which makes it very difficult to find someone to take it to or can come out and repair it in your home.

Invacare Oxygen Concentrators:

The Invacare Platinum XL Oxygen Concentrator offers all the great features of Platinum 5, now with eXtended Life to help lower lifecycle costs. The Invacare Oxygen concentrator Platinum XL features an upgraded compressor, that extends the time before preventative maintenance is required by 40%! The Invacare Oxygen concentrator Platinum XL also offers an extended limited warranty - now a full 5 years with no hour limit on the compressor! The Invacare Oxygen concentrator also features a top handle, side filter access door, and a compatibility with the HomeFill II Home Oxygen Filling System. The Invacare Oxygen concentrator Platinum XL is available in SensO2 and standard models with the same great features and HomeFill II compatibility too! The Invacare Oxygen concentrator now comes with a upgraded compressor to last 40% longer and extended the warranty to 5 years with no hour limit on the compressor. The Invacare Oxygen concentrators feature a side-access door for the inlet and outlet HEPA filters, a top handle and bottom recesses for easy handling and we made the compressor easier to access with only four cabinet screws. The Invacare Oxygen concentrator is plenty quiet too with its spring mounted compressor. At only an average of 50db that Invacare Oxygen Concentrators is one of the quietest concentrators on the market. The electrical requirements for the Invacare Oxygen concentrator is only 400W which is very important to those patients that require oxygen therapy an long periods of time. In searching for the best oxygen concentrator for you be sure to put the Invacare oxygen concentrator at the top of your list.

Devilbiss Oxygen concentrators:

The DeVilbiss Oxygen Concentrator with or without OSD is a reliable, durable, lightweight concentrator with long life components and pleasant aesthetic features. The Devilbiss Oxygen concentrators use a simple, reliable, and predictable operating system which lowers the cost of ownership for the patient.Devilbiss Oxygen concentrato

The Devilibiss Oxygen concentrator has a dual solenoid, three-position, four-way valve which increases shift efficiency, valve life, and reliability and comes with a lifetime warranty. The Devilbiss Oxygen concentrator uses Oxysiv-5 sieve beds with improved filtration resulting in longer bed life and better oxygen purity. The Devilibss Oxygen concentrator has a Thomas Q2 compressor which comes with a five-year warranty which has increased flow rates, decreased operating temperatures and longer life with less cup seal wear. The Devilbiss oxygen concentrator has redesigned, conformal coated circuit board which is more tolerant of line voltage and noise fluctuations. The Devilbiss oxygen concentrator is lighter weight and more compact than most 5 LPM concentrators and easy to transport. The Devilibss oxygen concentrator has a fixed, recessed humidifier port which is very convenient and helps prevent humidifier bottle and connection breakage. The Devilibss Oxygen concentrator comes with an advanced pressure compensated flow meter which permits use of a long cannula while maintaining an accurate flow setting. The DeVilbissŪ product line of Sunrise Medical offers one of the most competitive guarantees on the market today. DeVilbissŪ Oxygen Concentrators are guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship for periods up to three years with an optional two year extended warranty depending on the specific model.

Guidelines for proper operation:

The use of oxygen concentrators requires that special care be taken to reduce the risk of fire. Any materials that will burn in air, and some that will not, are easily ignited and burn rapidly in high concentrations of oxygen produced by oxygen concentrators. For safety reasons, it is necessary that all sources of ignition be kept away from the oxygen concentrator and preferably out of the room in which the oxygen concentrator is being used. No Smoking signs should be prominently displayed.

A spontaneous and violent ignition may occur if oil, grease or greasy substances come in contact with oxygen under pressure. These substances must be kept away from the oxygen concentrator, tubing and connections, and all other oxygen equipment. Do not use any lubricants on the oxygen concentrator unless recommended by the manufacturer.

For optimum performance, it is recommended that each concentrator be on and running for a minumim of 30 minutes at a time. Shorter periods of operation may reduce the maximum life of the oxygen concentrator.

If the oxygen concentrator has a damaged cord or plug, if it is not working properly, if it has been dropped or damaged, or dropped into water, call a qualified technician for examination and repair. Keep the cord away from heated or hot surfaces. Do not move or relocate the oxygen concentrator by pulling on the cord. Do not drop or insert any object into any opening of the concentrator. Never block the air openings of the oxygen concentrator or place it on a soft surface, such as a bed or couch, where the air opening may be blocked. Keep the openings on the sides and back of the oxygen concentrator free from lint, hair and the like. Fill humidifier with water to the level shown by the manufacturer. Do not overfill the humidifier. Keep keep the oxygen concentrator at least three (3) inches away from walls, draperies,furniture, and the like.

Avoid using while bathing. If continuous usage is required by the physician's prescription. The oxygen concentrator must be located in another room at least seven (7) feet from the bath. DO NOT come in contact with the oxygen concentrator while wet. Do not place or store the oxygen concentrator where it can drop into water or other liquid. Do not reach for product that has fallen into water. Unplug Immediately. An oxygen concentrator should never be left unattended when plugged in. If at any time the patient or attendant conclude that the patient is receiving an insufficient amount of oxygen, the supplier and/or physician should be contacted immediately. No adjustments should be made to the flowrate unless prescribed by a physician. Close supervision is necessary when when a oxygen concentrator is being used near children or physically-challenged individuals. Do not connect the oxygen concentrator in parallel or series with other oxygen concentrators or oxygen therapy devices. Use of some administration accessories or certain humidifiers not specified for use with oxygen concentrator may impair the performance. In certain circumstances oxygen therapy can be hazardous. All manufacturers recommend that you seek medical advice before using a oxygen concentrator This equipment is to be used as an oxygen supplement and is not considered life supporting or life sustaining.


The Invacare Oxygen Concentrators and the Devilbiss Oxygen Concentrators were specifically designed to minimize routine preventive maintenance at intervals of once per year. Only professionals of the healthcare field or persons fully conversant with this process such as authorized or factory trained personnel should perform preventive maintenance on any oxygen concentrators.

Your oxygen concentrator is intended for individual use in the home. It is an electronically operated device that separates oxygen from room air. It provides high concentration of oxygen directly to you through a nasal cannula. Clinical studies have documented that oxygen concentrators are therapeutically equivalent to other types of oxygen delivery systems. Your provider will show you how to use your oxygen concentrator. He/She should be contacted with any questions or problems regarding your oxygen concentrator. This owner's manual will tell you about your concentrator and will serve as a reference as you use your concentrator. Select a Location You may select a room in your house where using your oxygen concentrator would be most convenient. Your concentrator can be easily rolled from room to room on its casters. Your oxygen concentrator will perform best when operated under the following conditions. Usage in environments other than those described may result in the need for increased equipment maintenance. The air intake of the unit should be located in a well ventilated area to avoid airborne pollutants and/or fumes.

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