Article by David Kohll, Pharm.D. & and Dylan Sherrill, PharmD
Don’t let your oxygen therapy hold you back! Stop planning your life around how many oxygen tanks you can carry or worrying about how you’re going to breathe. Get your freedom back with a modern-day portable oxygen option that works for you!
Oxygen and portability have not always been compatible. Oxygen tanks have been around for over a century but they are heavy, unwieldy, and unsightly. They’re a fire hazard and to get them refilled you have to load them up and bring them to an oxygen supplier to be exchanged. You always need to keep track of how many oxygen tanks you have left. If you are too busy living your active lifestyle to bring them in to be refilled, you might have to cancel plans because you don’t have enough oxygen to leave the house! Don’t you think humans (who invented the iPhone, robots that vacuum by themselves, and sliced bread itself) would have come up with something better by now?
Portable oxygen concentrators have been available for over a decade but recent advances in battery and oxygen concentration technology have vastly improved their abilities. Most portable oxygen concentrators weigh only 4-6 pounds, easily carried by most people. They come with stylish shoulder carrying bags and offer other options for mobility such as backpacks and pull-behind carts. They’re quiet and are hardly noticeable in public! Most portable devices are FAA approved, meaning they may be brought on commercial flights with no special waiver or documentation.
The battery life of most concentrators ranges between 6 and 12 hours, depending on how much oxygen needs to be delivered. Many concentrators offer extended battery options for longer lasting charges, external batteries for when you need a “boost”, and easy-to-swap batteries for a quick reload in a pinch. Get away to visit family and only pack your portable concentrator and your charger! Take a roadtrip to see the world and charge your concentrator with a car charger. Was your flight delayed at the airport and you’re worried you’ll run out of oxygen before you’ll make it home? Charge it on any outlet and you’ll be back to full charge in no time!
The best part of all: portable oxygen concentrators are easy to use! Simply change the setting to what you and your healthcare provider decide is best for you and turn it on. Most portable concentrators can be provided and set up by Kohll’s pharmacy, who is a respiratory provider and then operated with one button.
There are many different portable oxygen concentrators on the market that all offer different advantages. It’s important to discuss your options with your local oxygen provider so they can get you set up with the portable oxygen concentrator that works for you. These devices may be available to you through insurance but most oxygen providers do not offer the rental of used oxygen concentrators through insurance and instead only offer them as items you buy out of pocket. They can offer deals that are often much cheaper than going through insurance. Portable oxygen concentrators last for years and you use them every day, so what are you waiting for? Call your trusted local respiratory provider, such as Kohll’s Rx, and take your freedom back today!