Continuous Flow Versus Pulse Dose Oxygen Therapy

If you find yourself in need of oxygen therapy you may receive a prescription for an Oxygen Concentrator. Concentrators emit a certain amount of enriched oxygen per minute in one of two ways: a continuous flow of oxygen or a pulse dose.

What is a Pulse Dose?

A continuous flow means that oxygen is flowing freely at the liters per minute (LPM) rate set by the user, whereas, a pulse dose is a smart technology that recognizes when the patient is taking a breath and emits the oxygen as needed. A pulse dose of oxygen is not sufficient for all those needing oxygen therapy. You should speak with your doctor to determine the correct dosage for you.

portable oxygen concentrator

The Inogen One g2 is a Pulse Dose Oxygen Concentrator.

What Type of Machine Should I Use?

Some oxygen machines are not capable of pulse dose and some oxygen concentrators are not capable of continuous flow. There are two types of oxygen concentrators: home oxygen concentrators and portable oxygen concentrators. Home oxygen concentrators operate almost exclusively on continuous flow and are designed for use while at home and while sleeping. Portable Oxygen Concentrators are designed to carry around with you and they typically operate on pulse dose. However, some portable concentrators are capable of both types of oxygen therapy.

Eclipse 3 Portable Concentrator

The Sequal Eclipse 3 is Capable of Pulse Dose and Continuous Flow.

What is LPM?

Liters Per Minute or LPM is the rate at which the oxygen is being emitted. Oxygen concentrators are only capable of a certain LPM setting, so it is always wise to consider this during a purchase. Pulse oxygen machines typically go up to 5 liters per minute, but a portable machine that is capable of 5 LPM pulse oxygen dose may only be capable of 3 LPM at a continuous flow rate.

When purchasing an oxygen concentrator always consider the oxygen flow dosage and liters per minute settings that your doctor has recommended. There are so many choices on the market that there is an oxygen machine to fit your needs.

Resources

http://www.inogenone.com/pdf/InogenOne_PulseDoseEfficiencyBrochure_English.pdf

http://hme-business.com/articles/2009/09/01/continuous-flow-vs-pulse-dose.aspx

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