An oxygen concentrator may help people who have trouble breathing due to conditions ranging from asthma and lung cancer to the flu and COVID. What to know:
An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that can help you breathe. Find out when you might need one and how to use it.
Humidifier bottle.If you use one, clean it every 3 days with warm water and mild dish soap. Rinse it with hot water. You can also soak it in a mix of vinegar and water for a few minutes to clear out any leftover bacteria. Dry the bottle with a paper tower, then air dry it.
Concentrator filter.Clean it once a month. Take it out and dunk it into a clean container that’s filled with water and mild dish soap. Scrub with a washcloth to get rid of any dirt or dust, then rinse it under water to remove any soap residue. Lay the filter on a dry, clean towel and let it air dry completely before you put it back in the concentrator.
How Do I Use a Portable Unit?This smaller concentrator works similarly to the at-home version, only you can use it outside and in your car. It runs on a rechargeable battery. The device fits in a pack that you carry with a handle or with a sling that goes over your headtopics.com
shoulder, among other options.Portable concentrators give you oxygen by “pulse dose,” meaning the oxygen comes out in small bursts each time you inhale. Some models can also give you oxygen at a steady flow rate. Talk to your doctor to make sure that you’re getting the right amount of oxygen from either setting.
Follow all of your doctor’s directions and the instructions that came with your device. You’ll also want to:Carry an extra battery.Even though your device’s display panel should tell you how much battery life is left, bring a spare with you in case you won’t be back home for a while.
Clean your gear regularly.Wash the tubing or facemask once a week with warm water and mild dish soap. Clean them more often if you get sick. Let them air dry, and don’t let water get in the tube. If the tubing looks damaged, get a replacement from your oxygen supplier. Follow the maker’s instructions on how to clean the filter.
What Safety Measures Should I Take?To keep you and your loved ones safe when you use your oxygen concentrator:Never use any type of oxygen device near an open flame or while.Keep the device in an open space. This makes it less likely to break or overheat. headtopics.com
Don’t block any vents on the concentrator. That makes it harder for it to do its job.If your device beeps or sounds an alarm, check the instruction manual. It could mean something’s wrong, and you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the right amount of oxygen.
Also, never buy an oxygen concentrator that’s being sold without a prescription. Those aren’t approved by the FDA. Using a concentrator without a prescription or your doctor’s guidance could lead to dangerous health problems, like getting too little oxygen -- or getting
damage from too much oxygen. It could also delay you from getting treatment for conditions like COVID-19.When Should I Call the Doctor? Read more: WebMD »
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