Best portable oxygen concentrator opinions?

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We've happily settled my father in a very nice Assisted Living facility in Texas. He has to be on Oxygen 24/7 and is having a big hassle pulling around all the cording he needs to allow him to get around his little "apartment". He talked to someone who suggested a portable concentrate he could hook onto his wheel chair that would provide him Oxygen no matter where he goes. Anyone have any dealings with portable oxygen concentrators..opinions? Suggestions? Thanks!

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Just P'M'ed you some links to the concentrator we have. It's an Oxus unit, paid for by Medicare and BCBSM Medigap plan.

I suspect that the unit you're planning to purchase is one of the smaller ones, and more easy to carry. Ours is less than 10 pounds, and can be carried, but it's much easier and safer to wheel it.

I honestly don't know about the minis and their capacity for longevity w/o retrofit, but when I thought of this issue this morning, I thought it was something that should be explored before you buy one.

It occurs to me that when your father no longer needs it or can get one of the type of portables we have for free,, the longevity and hours of use might be an issue if you try to sell it.

We weren't told either of the need to retrofit until I asked for help and explanations as why the consistent "check vents" error messages.
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Gardenartist, I never read anything about this in my reading. What brand unit do you have? We are purchasing the unit, so I do want to be sure that we aren't going to have a condition happen as what happed to yours. If it has to be retrofitted every 150 hours I'd like to know ahead of time and find out how that get's done. If it has to be sent off somewhere, this could be a real issue.
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Dustien, I thought of another issue last night. The portable unit that we have had to be replaced earlier this year - it was repeatedly issuing "check vents" warnings, when the vents were clear. I had to shut it down for about 10 minutes before it could be used again, then after a while it issued the warning again.

The DME supplier changed it out for a newer model. That's when I learned that the portables need to be retrofitted after x number of hours; the false warning was a reflection of that, apparently.

In our unit, there's an LED display on the top; when the unit is first turned on, the number of hours of use flashes briefly. I don't recall specifically how many hours ours had but it was around 130 - 150 hours....something like that. So it was time for a visit to the factory to be retrofitted.

I DO NOT KNOW if this same issues affects the smaller portables, but you'd be wise to check it out. If the portable has to be returned to the factory, find out if you get a new one or a loner until it's returned. However, if you're purchasing the unit, that's a different story.

You don't want a unit that only performs satisfactorily for x number of hours.
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Thanks Pam and Garden Artist. I checked with dad's insurance and he's got the best. He can choose any model, purchase it from anyone who will take the Doctor's script and it's covered all except 4% which is dad's out of pocket. The girl was amazed that it didn't matter the model or where it was purchased...and, frankly, so was I, though I did know dad had good insurance. Dad was prepared to have to pay out of pocket for the whole thing. We're now looking at getting the latest Inogen model, then G4 as well as an Extra battery which he will probably have to pay for himself.

Garden, I think you might be right on having too much cord. I think he could get most places in his apartment with 15' of cord rather then 25. I'll have my sis in law check up on that next time she visits. I'm back home now in Arkansas and dad's in Texas. I was hoping to bring him home with me but found such a good placement for him near my brother, a new AL facility that recently opened up right beside where my brother works that had the aging in care option as well as a memory hall in case his memory continues it's decline. It couldn't have worked out better except that I was looking forward to having him close to me here in Arkansas.

Now were in the mode to make him as comfortable there as possible, starting with the oxygen situation. Thanks for your imputes!
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Dustien, my father has both a stationary and a portable concentrator. The former is stationed between the living room and bedroom, with a 25' cannula cord. The portable is a carrying model with wheels, which can be wheeled around the house or outside and taken in the car wherever we go.

The stationary one can be adapted for apartment use by changing the length of the cannula. You father's probably using a 25 foot one, and that does get to be a nuisance. Dad uses the 25' one for nighttime use, but switches to a shorter one (10' I think) during the day. Switching is easy; the cannula cord is just twisted a bit at the connection and replaced with a shorter or longer one.

The portable he has operates on lithium ion batteries, which have about a 2 hour charge life. We have 4 and keep them charged so there's always a backup. The battery can be charged while the concentrator is shut off or is on, so it could be charged while he's using the stationary one, or while he's using the portable.

I got a car charger so the battery can also be charged during use in the car.

Your father's pulmonary doctor would have to script for the portable. If your father need it 24/7, that should be a problem, because obviously he can't go anywhere out of the apartment w/o oxygen, and the stationery one is too large and cumbersome to be put in a car.

You probably would have to ask specifically for different length cannulas. I learned that our DME supplier provides some basics, but is quite responsive when we ask for additional items.

If your father has just started on oxygen, you might also want to ask for a pair of the skin protectors. They're about 2" long, made of soft foam type material, and separate the cannula from direct contact with facial or behind the ear skin. W/o them, the cannula tubing can chafe and cause lesions on the skin.

When Dad goes for a walk (and if he takes his portable), it fits in the basket underneath the seat of his rollator.

I don't have any experience with the minis.
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The one you want may not be covered by your insurance. Start by asking your health insurance provider what they will cover. Also ask your respiratory therapist which models are totally reliable.
The mini portables supply no more than 3 liters per minute.
If he is on a big tank, and a high flow rate, he may not be able to use a portable.
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