Understanding Portable Oxygen Concentrators and Why They May Not Work with the Oxyllow System
In this blog post, we will discuss how a Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC) works and explore its possible compatibility issues with the Oxyllow system. It's essential to understand these systems' functionality to make informed decisions when considering supplemental oxygen treatment options.
How does a POC work?
A Portable Oxygen Concentrator is a medical device that helps provide extra oxygen for individuals who require it due to health conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, or other respiratory disorders. These devices are designed to be portable, allowing users to maintain their mobility while receiving the necessary oxygen therapy.
The primary function of a POC is to concentrate ambient air by removing nitrogen and delivering purified oxygen directly into the user's nostrils through nasal cannula. The device achieves this by filtering out nitrogen using pressure swing adsorption technology. As you breathe in through your nose, the concentrator detects negative pressure generated from inhalation and delivers an appropriate puff of concentrated oxygen at that precise moment.
Oxygen Delivery Systems: Continuous Flow vs Pulse Dose
When it comes to providing supplemental oxygen, there are two main types of delivery systems - continuous flow and pulse dose. A continuous flow system pumps out a steady stream of concentrated oxygen irrespective of whether you're inhaling or exhaling; on the other hand, a pulse dose system only provides puffs of concentrated oxygen during inhalation.
The choice between these two methods depends on factors like individual preferences, lifestyle requirements, specific health conditions — among others.
Continuous Flow Oxygen
As the name suggests, continuous flow oxygen systems deliver a constant supply of concentrated oxygen. This type of delivery system is typically found in stationary (home-based) concentrators and provides a consistent level of FiO2 (fractional inspired oxygen concentration), ensuring that the user receives a constant amount of supplemental oxygen.
Pulse Dose Oxygen
In contrast, pulse dose systems only provide concentrated oxygen during inhalation. These devices are designed to detect when you breathe in through your nose and release an appropriate puff of concentrated oxygen at that precise moment. Pulse dose technology helps conserve energy and prolong battery life, making it ideal for portable concentrators.
Oxyllow System: Compatibility with POCs?
The Oxyllow system refers to an innovative solution designed specifically for individuals who require supplemental oxygen while sleeping. The primary mechanism works with continuous flow for supplemental oxygen.
In that light, there are compatibility issues between the Oxyllow system and Portable Oxygen Concentrators. The Oxyllow system relies on continuous flow rather than pulse dosing; thus, connecting it directly to a POC will result in sub-optimal outcomes since most POCs use pulse-dose technology.
Moreover, when using the Oxyllow system with your head resting on the pillow insert, detecting inhalation becomes challenging for a portable concentrator as opposed to wearing nasal cannulae directly into your nostrils — which could lead to inconsistent or insufficient delivery of supplemental oxygen.