The Basics of Oxygen Therapy Solutions

Oxygen Therapy involves supplementing your body with extra oxygen due to diseases such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), which makes it difficult to breathe. In such an event, your doctor may offer oxygen therapy as a treatment option to be delivered via an oxygen concentrator. The requirement is to be able to increase the depleting levels of oxygen in the blood, as well as to relax the blood vessels in your lungs to prevent consequences caused by chronic low-oxygen levels.

Prescriptions for Oxygen Therapy

It should be mentioned that you are required to show a prescription when you attempt to purchase the likes of oxygen concentrators and cylinder oxygen solutions as you will be provided with medical-grade oxygen. However, accessories and other items such as tubing and carry bags need not require a prescription for purchase.

A prescription for oxygen therapy will need to be drawn up by the likes of a thoracic physician, specialist physician, oncologist, palliative care physician; respiratory nurse practitioner (that holds a designated specialist endorsement), as well as general practitioners for rural patients.  A prescription must include the specific gas measurements and requirements (except in the case of asthma patients who require at home oxygen treatment). A doctor’s prescription for oxygen treatment at home should include the recommended minimum number of hours oxygen should be received per day, as well as the flow rate during resting, sleeping and activities respectively. Based on these factors, your oxygen therapy solution can be custom tailored to your needs.

Flow Rate and Oxygen Delivery

Flow rate is the measurement used to define the amount of oxygen being delivered to a patient in a given minute using an oxygen concentrator solution. The measurement is via Litres per Minute (LPM); for instance if the requirement is 5LPM, 5 litres of oxygen will be delivered to the patient in a minute. There are two types of oxygen delivery; continuous flow and pulse dose, which deliver oxygen differently depending on the requirement. A continuous flow oxygen concentrator will deliver 5 litres of oxygen over the course of 1 minute whilst a pulse dose with a setting of 5 will release the same quantity but it will be a pulse delivered dose.

In simpler terms, a continuous flow delivery will actually release 5 litres of per minute however depending on the extent the user is able to utilise it, thus some of the oxygen may be wasted. However, when it comes to pulse dose oxygen delivery, also known as Intelligent Delivery­, the mechanism is smarter where it is able to utilise an oxygen conserver and other technology to measure the breathing rate of the patient and more to decide on the delivery based on the amount and the ability to intake. There are various recommended oxygen concentrators available through Oxygen Solutions. The following includes portable oxygen concentrator models that allow for Continuous Flow or Pulse Dose delivery (or even both).

Model Continuous Flow Pulse Dose
Airsep Focus  – Pulse dose delivery system.Two flow settings from 1-2.Delivers from 1 to 2 liters of oxygen per minute
Airsep Freestyle  – Pulse dose delivery system.Flow settings of 3 or 5.Delivers from 1 to 3 or 1 to 5 liters of oxygen per minute
Airsep SeQual Eclipse 5 Delivers 0.5 –  3.0 LPM in Continuous Flow Delivers equivalent of 1 – 5.0 LPM in Pulse Dose
Inogen One G2 HF  – Pulse dose delivery system.Five flow settings from 1-6.Delivers equivalent of 1 to 6 litres of oxygen per minute via pulse dose.
Inogen One G3  – Intelligent delivery technology. Four flow settings from 1-4.Delivers equivalent of 1 to 4 litres of oxygen per minute via pulse dose
Respironics SimplyGo 5 Flow Range 0 – 2 LPM Continuous Flow Pulse mode bolus size: 1 = 12 ml, 1.5 = 18 ml, 2 = 24 ml, 2.5 = 30 ml, 3 = 36 ml, 3.5 = 42 ml, 4 = 48 ml, 4.5 = 54 ml, 5 = 60 ml, 5.5 = 66 ml, 6 = 72 ml