COPD Oxygen Therapy Systems: Container/Storage & Delivery Systems
Oxygen concentrators were once thought of only for patients who were homebound and inactive. Newer and lighter-weight models have been developed for portable use. They have electrical connections for cars. They are also outfitted with battery packs. There are even newer concentrators that fill portable cylinders at home, provide accessibility and convenience. This type of concentrator compresses oxygen to fill the cylinders. And it also provides continuous-flow oxygen for breathing.
Small portable liquid oxygen units can be easily filled from the large liquid reservoirs using a direct link between the two. A small portable unit that has a conserving device can allow you to spend longer periods away from home. This will promote a more active lifestyle. This combo of a portable unit/conserving device also can serve as a base reservoir that can be filled less often.
Compressed gas in smaller cylinders can provide portability as well.
Below is the approximate time a cylinder would last at a rate of two liters per minute without a conserving device. If a conserving device is used, these time frames would be extended:
- E-cylinder: up to five hours
- D-cylinder: up to three hours
- M9: up to two hours
- M6: up to one hour
E-cylinders are the most common size used as back-up for individuals using concentrators. These cylinders can be easily wheeled on a cart or a stroller. Smaller tanks can be carried in backpacks, fanny packs or shoulder bags. Each cylinder is fitted with a regulator used for adjusting the flow rate. At a rate of two liters per minute, they only last a few hours. E-cylinders are not appropriate as a sole source of oxygen for continuous, long-term therapy.
Most people use a combination of storage systems as a way of having the most economical supply of oxygen. This also helps with having an active and full lifestyle.