How to use an Oxygen Concentrator

Once you and your doctor have decided that you need an Oxygen Therapy, your doctor will write a prescription. When you are ready to purchase one find out if your insurance will cover the cost. If not, all is not lost. Wholesale medical suppliers, such as Vitality Medical sell oxygen concentrators to regular consumers. You can research the various models available and with your doctor’s advice and find out which model will be most suitable for your needs.

John Bunn

John Bunn

If possible, attend a training session on the use of your oxygen (o2) concentrator. Some companies will have someone come to your home to train you and some arrange training courses that you can attend. Above all, study the accompanying manual carefully before you begin.

Make sure the machine is set up properly, because there are dangers associated with the improper setup of this equipment. The machine should be grounded and hooked up with the right amount of voltage. Avoid the use of extension cords and keep the machine away from any kind of flame, even a cigarette. Use the machine in a well ventilated space and make sure no water comes in contact with the machine. Keep away from radiators and heaters and place a sign “No Smoking: Oxygen in Use” if necessary.



Once you have turned the machine on, set the oxygen flow as prescribed by your doctor. Some o2 concentators go up to 10 liters per minute, but not all do, so be sure to purchase one that allows for the proper amount of oxygen. Do not adjust this setting again without instruction from your doctor. There may be a green light on your oxygen concentrator indicating that the flow is normal. Put on the nasal cannula, with the prongs comfortably placed inside your nose and the tubing around the ears. When using an Oxygen Mask, make sure it fits easily, adjusting the strap behind the head. Use the concentrator only for the time and number of treatments prescribed.

Turn the machine off once the treatment is complete, and take off the Nasal Cannula, disinfecting it with alcohol before placing it back in the slot until needed again. Clean and disinfect the parts of the oxygen concentrator following the instructions supplied by the manufacturer or supplier.  About two or three times a month, you should replace the cannula.

Respironics Evergo

Evergo Portable

If there is any problem or discomfort, discontinue the treatment and turn off the machine. Look for an orange or red light which may indicate the oxygen flow is obstructed. Contact the manufacturer or supplier for instructions and arrange for a service call as needed.  If you live in an area where the electricity supply may be interrupted, you should have a portable system as backup. Make sure the utilities company knows you are on oxygen as they will give you priority when restoring the service.

Travelling with your Portable Oxygen Concentrator brings you a whole new freedom. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions which differ for travel by airplane, car, on foot or by train. Make sure you have enough batteries for the time of travel and are familiar with the process of recharging batteries as you travel.  For more information, refer to these websites:


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