A few years back you hardly ever saw anyone on the streets carrying or pulling an oxygen delivery machine, but this has changed and it is now much more common. And all this is thanks to portable oxygen concentrators that are allowing oxygen dependent patients to recover much of their mobility.
A lack of oxygen, or more importantly the need for additional oxygen, means you no longer have the same freedom to move and this can become an enormous restriction that affects your whole attitude to life.
In years past patients on oxygen therapy spent too much time limited to the home. Their mobility alternatives were oxygen tanks with either compressed oxygen or liquid oxygen. These are still available and have also benefited from new designs that make them easier to use. But perhaps the greatest revolution in mobility has come in the from of a portable oxygen concentrator.
In simple terms an oxygen concentrator is a devise that extracts oxygen from the surrounding air and delivers it in a pure form. It is powered by electricity and this means that it doesn't store oxygen as do tanks or cylinders. And this is its great advantage as it is not limited by storage capacity (that also has a direct effect on size and weight).
From the point of view of a patient an oxygen supply system should have the following:
There are obviously other things, but these three are the main ones. And most of the design improvements in oxygen concentrators have dealt with these issues.
Most portable oxygen concentrators are powered both directly (plugging in) and with a battery (depending on the make and model duration goes from 3 to 8 hours); you can carry them in their own satchel or carrier bag or pull them along.
The end result is that patients who are oxygen dependent have greater mobility and are therefore freer than just a few years ago. The range of brand and model alternatives means that you can chose the most appropriate oxygen concentrator according to your specific situation.