The process of selecting the best oxygen concentrator can be intimidating if you have been prescribed long-term supplementary oxygen therapy. There are hundreds of options available in the market in a wide price range and all the models may look similar to a layman.
But, the requirements of each patient are different. Depending upon their medical condition, some may require a low-flow oxygen concentrator and some may require a high-flow oxygen concentrator.
6 Tips to Choose the Best Oxygen Concentrator in India
Furthermore, while some patients might want to take the oxygen therapy in the comfort of their home, others may want to lead an active lifestyle that includes spending a long time outside of the house. Different oxygen concentrators are available to suit different lifestyle preferences.
Instead of picking an oxygen concentrator at random, read the following guide on buying oxygen concentrators to get the most out of your investment:
1. Know your flow rate requirements
Based on the amount of oxygen they can offer, there are two types of oxygen concentrators: low to medium flow concentrators that provide oxygen up to 5 liters per minute (LPM) and high-flo oxygen concentrators that provide oxygen up to 10 LPM.
If you are suffering from a mild respiratory disorder, you would require a low-medium flow oxygen concentrator. Some of the most trusted and best selling 5 LPM oxygen concentrators in India are Philips Everflo, Oxymed Mini, Nidek Nuvo Lite.
And if you are suffering from some chronic respiratory disorder like COPD, ILD, etc and your flow rate requirement is above 6 LPM, you must go for a high flow oxygen concentrator. Airsep Intensity 10, Oxymed 10, Devilbiss 10 LPM are some of the best 10 LPM oxygen concentrator models in India.
Your doctor would prescribe you the oxygen flow rate you require.
2. Oxygen Purity
The next most important parameter that should be kept in mind while buying an oxygen concentrator is the purity level of the oxygen concentrator. The best oxygen concentrator is the one that can supply oxygen at a purity level of above 90% across all flow rates.
You can easily find the oxygen purity level mentioned in the specification table.
There are numerous oxygen concentrator models in the market whose oxygen purity level declines as you increase its flow rate. Refrain from buying them as these concentrators are not for medical use.
3. Stationary vs Portable
On the basis of design, there are two types of oxygen concentrator models: stationary and portable.
Stationary oxygen concentrators, also known as home oxygen concentrators are designed to operate while they are kept at a particular place in the house. These machines run when they are plugged into the electrical plug. So, it is not possible to move them while they are in operation.
Home oxygen concentrators are suitable for bedridden patients or for those who require supplemental oxygen only for a few hours in a day.
However, if you are someone who wants to keep up with an active lifestyle that requires you to be out of your house for long hours then a portable oxygen concentrator is the most suitable option for you.
Portable oxygen concentrators are lightweight and can be easily carried in a backpack or a roller cart. They come with a reachable battery and are not required to be plugged into the electrical wall.
4. Pulse vs Continuous Mode
If you decide to buy a portable oxygen concentrator then you also need to check if it delivers oxygen only in pulse mode or both pulse and continuous mode.
Portable oxygen concentrators with pulse dose mode deliver oxygen only when the person is inhaling and immediately stop during exhalation. This intelligent technology saves up the battery of the machine so that you can stay out on oxygen therapy for long hours.
But, a pulse dose oxygen concentrator is not suitable for you if you breathe through your mouth or are suffering from sleep apnea.
In such cases, it is better to buy portable concentrators that can supply oxygen in both pulse and continuous mode. When you switch to continuous mode, it supplies oxygen irrespective of whether the patient is inhaling or exhaling. This might eat up more battery of the device but is suitable for mouth breathers.
Please note that stationary oxygen concentrators provide oxygen only in continuous mode.
The next tip is to check if the machine has international approvals. Buying an oxygen concentrator is not a small investment. Hence, it is better that you buy a machine that meets international safety standards.
Make sure that the concentrator you are planning to buy is US FDA approved or at least CE Certified.
In the case of portable oxygen concentrators, also check for FAA Approval which ensures that the machine is safe to be carried in an airplane.
6. Service Centers
Lastly, make sure that the machine you are planning to buy has a service center near the location you live in. You can find the compiled list of service centers of different oxygen concentrators in India along with their current prices, stock availability and specifications.
To sum up, do not get intimidated by the plethora of oxygen concentrators available in India. Follow these tips to select the model that is the most suitable for you.