Home Oxygen Conentrators Understanding Oxygen Concentrators and Liters Per Minute

Understanding Oxygen Concentrators and Liters Per Minute

With many of the home and portable concentrators on the market, the oxygen that flows through the device is typically measured in liters per minute, although there are some that will provide milliliters per minute. Typically, the continuous flow oxygen concentrators provide liters per minutes, whereas the pulse concentrators utilize milliliters per minute of pulse dose oxygen.

Those who require oxygen therapy will receive a prescription from their doctor that will let them know their oxygen flow rate needs, such as 2.0 liters per minute, which is a common prescription. However, the exact amount you need could vary. The prescriptions will run between 1L and 10L per minute in most cases.

What Type of Oxygen Concentrator Do You Need?

Just because you might need to have a flow rate of 2.0 liters per minute, it does not mean that you need to necessarily have a continuous flow concentrator. There are also pulse flow options that can work for you. You just need to make sure that you talk with your doctor about your specific needs to be sure that you are getting just what you need.

When it comes to the continuous flow oxygen concentrators, you will find that most of them will have easy to understand settings that will let you know just how much oxygen you are getting. That is not always the case with the portable pulse options. Instead, they will have a setting range that goes from one to eight, for example. The exact amount of oxygen that is provided in each of these settings will vary based on make and model. Just because you are on level three of a pulse concentrator does not mean that you are getting 3.0lpm. You need to know how much each of those levels with your make and model will provide, and then use that for your pulse dose settings.

The concentrators with continuous flow settings tend to be a good solution for those who need to have access to oxygen around the clock, including overnight. If you are active and are always out, then you might want to have a portable oxygen concentrator. For those who need both of these options, there are hybrid machines available. However, you could always simply have one of each type of concentrator.

Options to Consider

Below are some of the many options available today that are available in a range of flow rates. You may find that one of these meets your needs and the requirements put forth by your doctor.

Inogen One G2

Here is a quality pulse dose concentrator that weights only 7lbs with the 12-cell battery. This particular battery has a 4hr life. However, with the 24-cell battery, it can last for up to eight hours. This is a popular, light, and efficient model that can work extremely well and is FAA approved. The unit gets up and running quickly, typically requiring less than two minutes before it is ready to go. It also tends to be quiet.

Inogen One G3

This pulse dose concentrator weights only 4.9lbs with the 8-cell battery and it has a battery life of four hours. It is a very light and easily portable unit, which makes it a nice solution for those who like to travel and those who have an active life. It offers settings that range from one to five with the oxygen concentration levels typically being around 90%. It is FAA approved and can be used easily on flights, buses, cruise ships, and more.

SeQual Eclipse 3

Here is a portable option that is a bit larger and heavier than the ones looked at thus far. It weighs 15lbs and it is FAA approved. One of the nice elements of this machine is that it is a hybrid. This means it can provide either pulse dose or continuous flow modes.  When in the continuous flow mode, it can provide a flow rate between 0.5 and 3.0 liters per minute. When it is in pulse dose mode, it can provide between 16ml and 192ml per minute.

SeQual eQuinox

This machine also offers either pulse dose or continuous flow. It is 14lbs and it can last for up to 5.7 hours on a battery. It is one of the best and lightest options for those who still want a machine that is portable, but that can deliver continuous flow of up to 3.0 liters per minute. The flow rate ranges from 0.5 up to 3.0 liters per minute. The pulse dose range goes from 16ml to 96ml. The eQuinox also has something called super dose settings, that can allow for 128ml, 160ml, and 192ml for those who need to have higher pulse doses.

These are some of the options on the market that have a range of different liters per minute settings that could work well for you.

What to Look for With Your Oxygen Concentrator

When choosing an oxygen concentrator, you need to consider how and where you will be using the machine, as this can let you know what type you need, as mentioned above. Whether you are looking for pulse dose or continuous oxygen delivery systems, you will want to make sure that you find the perfect solution for your needs.

Not only do you need to find an oxygen concentrator that can provide you with the proper liters per minute, you also want to find a seller that can provide you with quality equipment. Check their oxygen concentrator product FAQs to get a better gauge on the products they offer, along with their returns and exchanges policy.

Learn more about the options available and find those that you feel will best fit what you need from the oxygen concentrator. Above, there are several quality options that could work well for your needs. However, these are certainly not the only concentrators out there. Search for others that will meet your oxygen requirements for liters per minute of  O2 and that have other features that you might need.

Cindie Hood is a Product Manager at AllegroMedical.com with a core focus on products that help active aging adults and caregivers.