Portable Oxygen Concentrator Recommendations

As I said in another discussion, I'm currently hunting a portable oxygen concentrator. I'd love advice from people with experience.

It seems to me that I want a reliable one that allows me to be hands free (backpack?) and is quiet and can do an 8 hour charge. It's all complicated by being in Canada where we seem to have less access to the up to date stuff.

Advice, please.

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I've used an Inogen POC for a couple of years and found it to be reliable and fairly easy to carry. It was far more expensive (true for unit and batteries) than it should've been--my health insurer considered it "out of network" so we got shafted. Hope that you have a different experience in Canada. Ialso looked at Respironics model which I thought was roughly equivalent to the Inogen. Best of luck.
Allan

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Thanks Allan,

I'm having trouble finding someone who carries the Inogen here - apparently the first model was disliked by my air people so they dropped the line. I'm really interested in the model 3 - which one do you have?

Nancy

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Sorry for the delay in responding-traveling for the holidays. Mine is an Inogen One G2, I think, one model back from the one you're considering. As I said, mine has been dependable, with the only issues for me the cost and battery life. The batteries are expensive and don't last as long as promised-despite following the maintenance directions carefully. U.S. airlines make a big deal of how much battery life you carry on board, with a requirement for X times the overall flight time.

Again, good luck with your choice--do look at the Respironics if that is an option for you.
Regards, Allan

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Hi Crowceilidh,
I don't know where in Canada you are, but I am in Ontario, and when my husband needed O2 at home we used ProResp (www.proresp.com) for his oxygen needs. Because of Ontario and Canada health care, all of his oxygen supplies were free (as they were MD-prescribed) and were delivered to our home at no charge. He had both a portable (battery) one as well as an at-home concentrator one that operated on electricity, so he could go out (i can't remember if it was for 6 or 8 hours -- sorry, it's been over 4 years since he died, so some of the details on the specifics of his prescriptions, meds etc. escape me) and I know that we never had any problem with them or their equipment or response time.. The company was recommended by the hospital where he was cared for and his OHIP (provincial health plan) paid for both portable and in-home equipment, and would have recharged the portable one for free if we had needed it. I suspect that most hospitals in Canada with a cancer unit would have a preferred O2 source. In our case the ProResp facility was housed in the hospital so literally the only thing we had to do was take the prescription down to them and within 15 minutes we had both the portable and the at-home equipment and were ready to set it up. The system was also very quiet and the portable one was indeed back-packable.
The phone # for this particular supplier is 905-494-6205, but the first thing I would check out is the company is that supplies the hospital that is affiliated with your oncologist, as they are most likely to have the contacts with the company that supplies the O2 and the equipment. Good luck for getting a speedy response from your hospital and the hospital-approved provider. Sending you and your loved one best wishes that 2013 will be an easier and happier time for you.
Jane

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Thanks for the fulsome reply Jane. ProResp is my company, but they don't seem to be carrying very many types of battery operated concentrators and the ones they carry are heavy and not what I would call particularly portable. I'm glad you guys had an easy time with this part of the experience, as I am having a tough time with it. They are reluctant to give me a battery operated one full time and won't supply me with both tanks and battery operated systems. Many aspects of this portable oxygen stuff have been smooth, but others aren't.

Nancy

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See if you can get a free trial before you buy. We bought a respitronics evergo which is the highest producing portable that we could find. Higher than the inogen, we already wore one of those out. The inogen is definitely lots quieter which is important but it depends on your o2 needs. None available are up to what my husband needs (8 litres continuous) so it's next best . Anyway. They charged us $100 and took it off the purchase price. Seeing as it cost us personally $4500 , $100 is cheaper if you decide it's not for you. Look to the future when buying if your o2 needs might increase.

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I have a Life Choice portable unit that weighs about 6lbs while carrying as a backpack. If you want an additional 5 hours you can carry a battery back on your waist for a total of 7 hours working time. I have used mine for hiking and snow skiing.
I wish you luck.
K

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