Oxygen Concentrator Safety
Breathing supplemental oxygen with an oxygen concentrator is designed to be a safe and life-sustaining activity. But, as with all types of devices, it’s important that you learn some tips for proper usage. One misconception you may have is in comparing a portable oxygen concentrator to compressed or tanks which also provide supplementary breathing gas. Though the two are related by their use of compression technology, they don’t carry the same hazards!
Below we will discuss how this difference impacts your safety when using them:
Keep a safe distance from open flames or fires
While you enjoy time around a fire on a summer night, it can be hard not to think about all the potential hazards that come from being too close for comfort. Fire poses significant risks due to its high temperature which could cause oxygen deprivation if one gets closer than two meters away while they use their portable oxygen concentrator and accessories nearby.
Be Careful when Showering or Bathing
The portable oxygen concentrator should not get wet or be exposed to moist air. However, depending on your specific needs you may find that you will need to take a shower while using it. With an exhaust fan in the bathroom and extended tubing leading up from your cannula into the water with a detachable head for when you want some privacy, this experience can go much more smoothly than expected!
Keep a Safe Distance from Pools and other Bodies of Water, Keep an Eye on the Sky
Protect your portable oxygen concentrator from the dangers of water by not letting it get wet. Why take this risk? You might be caught in a light summer shower or have some playful grandkids that love to give hugs right after they’ve been swimming in the pool. If you do happen to let your POC get wet, unplug and turn off the unit immediately!
Avoid Smoking While on or near your Portable Oxygen Concentrator
It is absolutely forbidden to smoke while on oxygen therapy. The risks of injury are too great, and the consequences will vary depending on what type of machine you use as well as how often patients need it for treatment. If smoking must be done in a room with an authorized therapeutic device, at least 10 minutes should elapse after turning off the concentrator before lighting up again; otherwise, there’s a risk that your portable tank or cannula may ignite from nearby sparks caused by cigarette butts!
Avoid any Aerosole Products
You should avoid aerosol products while using your portable oxygen concentrator. This includes hairsprays, body sprays, and even some air fresheners. Aerosols are highly flammable!
Keep your Portable Oxygen Concentrator Stored Correctly
Portable oxygen concentrators allow you to be mobile! But, whether your travelling by plane, train or automobile you must ensure the unit is securely stored. This will help keep passengers and yourself safe as well as protect the machine from damage. Dropping a portable oxygen concentrator – or allowing it to fall off of any seat- can void your warranty!
Don’t Block Intake Vents
One of the most important safety tips to remember when using a portable oxygen concentrator is that you should always keep an eye on intake vents. As many people know, blockages can inhibit performance and it doesn’t take much for your clothes or bag to cause problems with venting. It’s crucial not only as part of daily use but also during travel where there are added risks such as bumpy roads which could be detrimental if those carrying bags forget about their air supply!
It’s important to be aware of the dangers associated with oxygen concentrators and how they differ from other types of portable breathing gas tanks. While you may not need all these tips, it doesn’t hurt to get a refresher on what can happen if certain precautions are overlooked! If this article has left you feeling uneasy about your own unit or lack of knowledge in general, please contact Additional Aids Mobility for more information. Our team is happy to answer any questions that pertain specifically to our products as well as provide recommendations based on whatever type of machine you currently have.