6 Deadly Mistakes New Portable Oxygen Concentrator Users Make

Updated on July 21, 2021

Portable oxygen concentrators enable patients with different breathing complications to enjoy supplemental oxygen. These machines let them overcome the challenges chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), severe chronic hypoxemia, and pulmonary edema cause. They are ideal for enabling these patients to lead normal lives in their homes and on the go.

Moreover, oxygen concentrators are the cheapest and most reliable tools for supplying patients with consistent oxygen. They let patients overcome the inhibitive challenges traditional cylinder oxygen machines have. For instance, they never run out of oxygen or require you to pay for the oxygen you enjoy. The reason is that these machines collect and filter their free oxygen from the atmosphere wherever you are. 

But learning how to optimize these essential supplemental oxygen tools is critical because it saves you costly blunders. This post shares some of the deadliest mistakes new users make. Read on to learn more and avoid them.

Failing to Clean the Device

They say that cleanliness is next to godliness, and that makes sense. This fact applies more to POC users because they are more vulnerable to respiratory infections. Additionally, patients carry these devices around, exposing themselves to greater chances of collecting all manner of germs. The reason is that keeping this supplemental oxygen tool in a dirty place makes it gather bacteria. 

Thus, failing to clean this appliance regularly and correctly could defeat the very purpose of carrying it. It is, therefore, vital to clean the concentrator, its tank, tubing, and nasal cannula.

Using the Concentrator Against Its Prescription

Using a POC against its prescribed use is another fatal blunder some new users make. It’s worth noting that oxygen is a regulated substance in this country. The Food and Drug Administration controls its use to ensure that only respiratory patients can access medical oxygen. 

However, its prescription doesn’t mean that a patient can do whatever they want to do with their POC. Patients still need to follow their medical prescriptions to get the most out of their POCs. Moreover, failing to follow prescription guidelines means that users could expose themselves to various risks.

Failing to Optimize Its Freedom

Some new users fail to realize that their new breathing aid is just what the name suggests: a tool to help them continue with their regular life. Some consider this supplemental oxygen tool inhibitive instead of being liberating. Thus, they don’t capitalize on their ability to enjoy medical oxygen without being confined to a hospital bed. These patients give up their usual life activities and freedoms like visiting their friends and relatives, workouts and walking around.

Smoking Near the POC

Smoking is a leading cause of breathing complications. But as obviously risky as this behavior sounds, some patients continue with their smoking trends even while using POCs. They defeat these devices’ purpose and expose themselves to greater dangers. Remember, this gadget seeks to help you undo some of the damages smoking does to people’s bodies. Clinging to cigarettes only worsens the very problems you are trying to solve. 

Additionally, smoking near your POC increases the risk of damaging it because this appliance works by sucking in the surrounding air and eliminating other gases from it. Thus, smoking near it allows smoke to destroy its internal mechanisms. Although many POCs have particle filters, these filters can’t stop small debris from infiltrating them. So, if you feel you must smoke, it’s critical to do it away from the breathing aid.

Leaving the Portable Oxygen Concentrator in a Hot Car

Leaving a POC in a hot vehicle is another deadly mistake new users make. It’s to your highest advantage to never leave this tool in a hot car, whether you are using it or not. The reason is that the gadget can overheat, exposing it to its inner components’ damage.

Besides avoiding hot cars, never store your device in other locations that are likely to overheat. Thus, it’s beneficial to store your appliance as per its manufacturer’s maximum and minimum storage specifications. 

Wetting the Device

Wetting POCs is the last blunder some new users make. It’s vital to use the device’s protective cover or case to protect it from raindrops and other water sources. Remember, this tool is electronic, and you should protect it from water the way you protect your other electronics.

There you go with the frequent mistakes new POC users make. It’s your turn to use this information to avoid them and get the best out of your breathing aid.

+ posts

Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.