Has your doctor prescribed supplemental oxygen for you? If so, and you consume around four liters of oxygen at rest and up to six while putting forth extra effort to perform an activity, you’re considered a high-flow oxygen user.
If you require this amount of supplemental oxygen, you may wonder what options you have in terms of traveling with your oxygen prescription. Here are three special considerations you need to make in this regard, according to the COPD Foundation.
A Pulse Unit Is Probably Not The Answer
Pulse flow portable concentrators don’t deliver continuous oxygen. This makes it easy to "over breathe" the unit, meaning you take more breaths in a minute than the pulse unit is able to produce. When this happens, you might get a smaller pulse or possibly none at all.
In addition, the settings on a pulse flow portable concentrator are misleading. Unlike continuous oxygen concentrators, pulse units are not measured in liters per minute. That means the "5" setting might actually deliver a three-liter equivalent of oxygen, not five liters.
Don’t Purchase a Unit Without Consulting With Your Doctor
Selecting the right portable oxygen solution is about more than size, weight and convenience. For example, the unit needs to have sufficient reserves that make it possible for you to get through an exacerbation or period of breathlessness during your travels. Your doctor can help you make the right selection, especially if you bring up the fact that you’re interested in traveling with oxygen.
Try Out the Unit Before Making a Purchase
Portable oxygen is an investment. It’s also critical to your health and wellness to select the right model for you. Because of these reasons, it’s important to try out potential oxygen concentrators, both at rest and during exertion, before you spend money on any particular model.
As a high-flow user, traveling with oxygen can be difficult. Consult with your doctor and the airline you’re interested in traveling with to learn more.