Place the unit at a distance of 0.30 to 0.60 m from the wall and furniture. The unit has to suck in oxygen and discharge exhaust gases, so it needs a lot of space. Make sure that the space around it is unobstructed.
- The oxygen concentrator not only needs space to circulate the air, but it also gets very hot, which can cause a fire hazard if placed near objects such as furniture or curtains.
Connect your humidifier bottle if one is required. Insert the screw cap of your humidifier bottle into the outlet of your oxygen concentrator. Slowly turn your bottle until it is securely attached to the machine.
- The location of your outlet will vary depending on your model, so you will need to consult the manual that came with your machine. In many cases, the outlet is located on the side of the machine, near the dials.
- Always use distilled or filtered water in your humidifier bottle. Unscrew the cap on top of the bottle and fill the bottle with water. Screw the cap back on before attaching the bottle to your oxygen concentrator. Change the water each time you use the unit.
- You will probably be prescribed a humidifier bottle if your physician prescribes an oxygen flow rate greater than 2-3 litres per minute (LPM).
-Attach your oxygen tubing to the humidifier bottle or to an adapter. If you are using a humidifier bottle, you will see a port on the bottle. This is where you insert your oxygen tubing. If you are not using a humidifier bottle, you will use an oxygen adapter, also called a Christmas tree adapter, to connect your tubing. It looks like a small funnel, with a large end and a pointed end.
- The oxygen adapter fits into the outlet of your machine that you would normally use for a humidifier bottle. Simply insert the larger end of the adapter into the outlet. In most cases, you will simply push the adapter into the outlet. If you have any problems, consult the manual that came with your machine.
-Make sure your air filter is in place. Your oxygen concentrator has an air intake filter that removes particles and allergens from the air. It should be located on the side of your machine. On occasion you may remove or replace the filter, so always double check that it is there before you turn on your machine.
- You should remove the filter from the back or side of your oxygen concentrator once a week. Wash it in warm water and then squeeze out the excess water. Dab it off with a clean towel before putting it back in your machine.
Start your oxygen concentrator at least 15-20 minutes before using it. It takes a while for your oxygen concentrator to start producing the right concentration of air. That means you should have it on for a while before you start breathing the air the machine produces. Plan accordingly.
- To determine exactly how much time your machine needs to be on before the oxygen concentration is correct, follow the instructions on your model or your doctor's directions
Plug into a grounded outlet that is not in use. Your oxygen concentrator should be the only item plugged into that outlet, as it will consume a lot of power. If your outlet is not grounded, it is safe to use an adapter.
- Some older electrical outlets only have holes for the typical adjacent pins on an electrical cord, but your oxygen concentrator will have a third round pin on the plug.
- Do not use an extension cord, as this poses a fire hazard.
Turn the on/off switch to the "on" position. The switch should be labelled "on/off", but it may also be labelled "start". The lights will come on and you will be able to hear the sound of air being sucked in and released.
- Make sure the appliance is in the "off" position before you plug it in. It can be damaged if it is already "on".
Listen for the alarm. Your oxygen concentrator should sound an alarm when it is turned on. This is to ensure that it is not accidentally turned on when it is not supposed to be. After a few seconds, the alarm will go silent.
- The alarm will sound every time the oxygen concentrator is turned on.
- You will also hear an alarm if the power supply is interrupted.
Locate the litre control knob or switch on your oxygen concentrator. What your knob looks like may vary, but it should be the main knob or switch on your unit. It may be marked for litres per minute (LPM) or levels, such as 1, 2, 3, etc.
- The button or switch will probably have numbers next to it, although the exact markings will depend on your model.
- Consult your machine's manual to make sure you are using the right knob or switch.
Turn the knob or switch until it is at the prescribed number. Your doctor will prescribe the correct amount of oxygen. If you are not sure which setting to use, call your doctor for clarification.
- It is very important that you use the correct amount of oxygen, so do not guess.
Do not use more or less oxygen than your doctor prescribed. Using the wrong oxygen setting can be harmful. Follow all instructions from your doctor!
- If you think you are not getting the right amount of oxygen, talk to your doctor about it. Do not adjust your oxygen on your own.
Check your hose for kinks or bends. These can interrupt the oxygen supply, so smooth them out if you find them. It's fine for your hoses to twist a little, like in a big circle, as long as the air can flow freely.
- If there is a kink, you may not be getting all the oxygen you need. You may have to replace your tubing if it doesn't sit straight.
Put your mask over your face for low oxygen levels. Make sure there are no gaps around the edges of the mask. Place the elastic attachment on the mask over your head or around your ears, depending on the style of mask.
- Slide the mask around until it feels comfortable.
- Adjust the mask if it shifts or becomes loose.
Place your nasal cannula up into your nostrils for high oxygen levels. Each end of the cannula should curve upwards into one nostril. Once the ends are in place, loop the tubes over your ears. Adjust the tubes under your chin by sliding the tube adjuster up or down.
- Place your nasal cannula in water to check if they work. Look for bubbles caused by the air flowing through the tubes.
- Adjust the tubes until they are comfortable when you insert the nasal cannula.
- Breathe through your mask or nasal cannula. Breathe in as you normally would and let the machine replenish your oxygen. Use the machine for as long as your doctor recommends.
Turn the power to "off" when the machine is not in use. Press the same button you use to turn the machine on. The machine may overheat if left on, creating a fire hazard. It is important not to leave the appliance switched on when not in use.
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