How To Choose The Right Oxygen System For You

When your doctor prescribes supplemental oxygen, it can be confusing what equipment you should choose.  While there are a few options to consider, once you determine what you will need for your lifestyle and level of oxygen it can be quite simple.

Types of Equipment

The two basic types of equipment include compressed gas systems and liquid oxygen systems.  Though the method of oxygenation is different between the two, they are relatively similar.  Both come with a larger component you keep at home for your needs there and an ambulatory component for when you go out.  Additionally, there is a third option for traveling, called a portable oxygen concentrator.

  • Compressed gas systems have an oxygen concentrator as the home component.  This component comes with 50 foot tubing so that you can walk around your home without having to move the concentrator.  The ambulatory component is a small tank of compressed gas.  These smaller tanks are delivered to you weekly, and can be either pre-filled or filled at home from the concentrator used there.
  • Liquid oxygen systems also have an at-home component, consisting of an oxygen reservoir.  It also comes with 50-foot tubing for at-home use and is the main source for filling your ambulatory tanks.  You simply fill the smaller tanks as needed.
  • The portable oxygen concentrator functions like the compressed gas system, but is designed to function on its own without the stationary component.  It runs off of electricity or battery, and can be wheeled with you wherever you go.  The tubing on this option is seven feet at the maximum, to ensure proper oxygen delivery.

Deciding which of these options is best for you will require a look at your lifestyle and oxygen needs. 

Individual Considerations

When your doctor prescribes supplemental oxygen, the amount that you need is important.  This is written in liters of oxygen you need per minute, for example, 3 liters/min.  This information can be given to your oxygen supplier to help them determine which option is best for you. 

Other factors to consider include the size of the equipment, your needs for leaving the home with oxygen, breathing through your nose or mouth, and your dexterity for maneuvering the system.  Your personal comfort is naturally very important when selecting the right option for you.

Once your medical need for oxygen is determined, you'll need to check with your health insurance company to see which options they will cover for you.  Often insurance companies will cover it in full with a demonstrated need, so make sure to contact them first. Contact a local provider of oxygen systems, such as Home Medix Inc, for further assistance.