3 Vital Tips For Maintaining An Oxygen Concentrator

If you or a loved one is using an electronic oxygen concentrator at home to receive oxygen on a long term basis, you're likely aware of the basic safety precautions necessary when using such a device and how to operate the unit. One thing you may be unaware of, however, is how to best maintain it. A well-maintained concentrator is crucial to receiving the right amount of oxygen. By getting into good maintenance habits, you can also ensure that the the device needs less service checks and replacement parts.

Follow these three tips to make sure your concentrator is working to the best of its ability:

1. Clean the Filters Regularly

Most larger-sized concentrators have a sponge filter on both sides of the unit. These filters will commonly trap dust and hair as the unit pulls air inside the concentrator. Depending on where the unit is placed, you may need to clean these filters out on a weekly basis or even more frequently. To clean them, simply rinse them under a faucet. If the unit is near a window or door, the filters will likely need to be cleaned more often. As a side note, an oxygen concentrator is best kept in an area with good ventilation.

2. Replace the Cannula and Tubing Regularly

Your cannula and tubing should be replaced every so often to ensure there are no blockages and that the cannula stays free of germs. The cannula (the part that enters the patient's nose) should be changed out every week if possible while the entire line of tubing can be changed monthly or bi-monthly.

Depending on how long the line of oxygen tubing is, you may need to replace this more often. Sometimes kinks in the line are inevitable. Replacing the entire line when this happens is generally easiest.

3. Regularly Check the Flowrate

When first using the concentrator, your doctor will prescribe a flow-rate setting for the patient. Ensure the unit is always on this setting and never change it without first speaking to your doctor. As a part of regularly checking the unit, physically check what setting it's on and don't just assume it's right. If the setting is accidentally shifted, this can adjust the oxygen intake of the patient in a negative way.

It takes some time to get used to using an oxygen concentrator,  due to the unit's noise levels and the learning process when it comes to knowing how to best maintain the unit. With a little time and a few simple maintenance habits like those listed above, you can ensure that you or your loved one receives the best care possible and has an easier time getting the oxygen they need.

If you want to know more about using an oxygen concentrator or simply have other questions, contact a company such as Home Medix Inc.