Portable Oxygen Concentrators

Advanced Aeromedical, Inc. 800-346-3556.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators are small machines that separate everything but oxygen from the air around the machine delivering therapeutic medical oxygen to the patient. The FAA has approved 22 different machines for use on board commercial aircraft. There are some machines out there that have not yet been approved. Of the 22 Portable Oxygen Concentrators that are FAA Approved, only a few will deliver a continuous flow.

FAA Approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators that offer a Continuous Flow:

FAA Approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators that DO NOT offer a Continuous Flow, Pulse Only Devices:

Pulse Delivery vs Continuous Flow is an important factor when using a Portable Oxygen Concentrator. These machines are all designed for the masses of people using oxygen. Most people can use the pulse delivery or “on-demand device”. There are plenty of people using oxygen that can NOT use a pulse delivery device.  Most people do not sleep with a pulse delivery device. Ask your doctor about sleeping with a pulse delivery device, they will most likely have you do a sleep test to ensure it will or will not work for you. A pulse delivery portable oxygen concentrator will not work with a C-PAP or Bi-PAP machine.

Pulse delivery machines go up to a setting of 6, this is not the same as 6 Liters Per Minute (LPM) Continuous Flow. Anyone prescribed more than 2-3 LPM is considered a higher liter flow. Consult your doctor about using a pulse delivery portable oxygen concentrator at higher flow rates.

All FAA Approved Portable Oxygen Concentrators use electricity, either from a Battery, AC Wall Power Supply, or a DC Car Power Supply. These machines are all multivoltage, meaning they can be used all over the world. A set of International Travel Adapters are all thats needed to make the plug fit into the electrical socket of any outlet around the world. A powered inverter should never be used with a portable oxygen concentrator.

Battery time is a critical component when using a portable oxygen concentrator on a flight. Every airline has their own rules regarding the use of portable oxygen concentrators during flight. Most airlines require 150% of the flight time to equal the battery time. Some airlines require travel time + 3 hours to equal your battery time. For international flights this may mean a lot of extra batteries to travel with. Battery times vary between each portable oxygen concentrator. The continuous flow portable oxygen concentrators battery time is much less than the pulse delivery machines. Battery management means using wall power & car power whenever you can to maximize the length of battery. Whatever time you were planning on arriving at the airport, add an extra hour to it. You can always recharge your batteries using the wall outlets at the airport boarding area. Most Portable Oxygen Concentrators can be used at the same time as the batteries are being charged.

Portable Oxygen Concentrators are designed for travel. Most come with a mini-cart with a retractable handle or a carry-bag with a shoulder strap. All of the FAA Approved Machines will fit under the seat in front of you, or in the overhead bin. Some of the Portable Oxygen Concentrators look like a piece of luggage, unfortunately some people may treat it as such. These machines are very durable, but they are still machines with moving parts that can break. It is important to know ALL of your available options when traveling with oxygen. There are different types of oxygen delivery methods (portable oxygen concentrators, stationary oxygen concentrators, compressed gas cylinders,  and liquid oxygen). All of which have there own individual pro’s and con’s. All of which have there own level of risk should there be a malfunction. It is vital to know the limits of whatever oxygen equipment is being used. It is also very important to know that many people travel with oxygen these days. The odds are in your favor of having a successful trip. Do not be afraid of problems arising during a trip with therapeutic oxygen. Problems happen, just know what to do if one occurs.

Always have a back-up plan should there be any issues with your portable oxygen concentrator. Whomever you decided to buy or rent a portable oxygen concentrator from, always ask them what happens when there is a problem? Will someone answer the phone and be there when you need help? How do you get equipment replaced if its needed? Especially when purchasing a machine, it is very important to get as much information on the front end so you are as prepared as you can be.

Advanced Aeromedical sells and rents portable oxygen concentrators. We are on-call 24 hours and we are here to assist. If you need oxygen for a flight, give us a call at 800-346-3556. Send us an email at info@aeromedic.com with your travel details, we can provide information any time or get a quote for service.