Testing Your Oxygen Level for a Portable Oxygen Concentrator
I recommend testing for POC before you travel to make sure your oxygen saturations (levels) stay above normal levels. Oxygen levels should be maintained above 90%. This is done by using a pulse Oximeter, a device that tells you your percentage of oxygen saturation on hemoglobin (hemoglobin transports oxygen throughout your body). You can get tested a couple of ways, buy one or see your doctor/hospital Respiratory therapy dept. The best way is to purchase your own pulse Oximeter; I sell one for $49.00.
Testing for POC, while you are walking, and while sleep is recommended. I have read studies that show that the majority of patients will do just fine at night while sleeping on a POC, but daytime walking saturations are harder to maintain. That’s why I recommend getting a pulse Oximeter, because testing yourself at different altitudes are important. For example if you live in Utah where the elevation is 4500 feet, and test yourself, then travel to San Francisco at sea level your oxygen requirements will be less. Vice versa if you come from sea level to elevation you will need more oxygen. Studies show pressure on the plane can cange it as well so just buy one it’s the best way to go.
Here is a study that shows you why and how you should be tested for POC. On my next page Ill explain how to choose the device you want.
EVALUATION OF PORTABLE OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS DURING EXERCISE AT PULMONARY REHABILITATION
Vijay Subramaniam, MD*, Tariq Cheema, MD, Brian Carlin, MD and Robert McCoy, RRT
Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA
PURPOSE: The demand by patients who require oxygen supplementation for increased mobility, air travel and desire to maintain normal functionality has led to the introduction of portable oxygen concentrators (POC). The purpose of our study was to evaluate the oxyhemoglobin response to exercise while using currently available POCs.
METHODS: Patients with COPD who required supplemental oxygen use with exercise were recruited. Each patient underwent a ten minute treadmill walk at a comfortable pace using continuous flow oxygen. During two subsequent visits, each was randomized to two of four test units including three POCs (Sequal Eclipse, Inogen One, and Repironics Ever go), and one concentrator filled portable pulse device (Invacare Homefil). Each patient then underwent a 10 minute treadmill walk with each POC at the "number" setting determined during the continuous flow oxygen titration. Each test was separated by a 30 minute rest period. Heart rate, pulse oximetry, walking distance, subjective dyspnea and muscle fatigue were measured during the test. The test was terminated if oxyhemoglobin saturation fell below 85% or at the patient's request to stop the test for dyspnea or muscle fatigue.
RESULTS: A total of 15 patients (4 males and 11 females with a mean age of 63 years) were enrolled and completed the study. The mean saturations per device during activity were as follows: Eclipse 93%, Inogen 89%, Evergo 91%, Homefil 90%. The mean walking distance per device was as follows: Eclipse 260 meters, Inogen 144 meters, Evergo 257 meters, Homefil 268 meters. Data analysis was performed using analysis of variance (ANOVA.)No statistical differences in either exercise saturation or walking distance were noted when comparing the four tested devices. (F 0.9043). Variability in individual patient response was noted in some instances.
CONCLUSION: Walking distance and oxyhemoglobin saturation did not differ significantly during exercise among three types of portable oxygen concentrators or Homefil device in this group of fifteen patients.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Patients should undergo exercise oxygen prescription using the device that ultimately will be used on a daily basis.