Portable Oxygen Concentrator Use During the COVID-19 Pandemic

This communication is in response to patient inquiries we have received on the use of a portable oxygen concentrator (POC) and potential exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).    

Although some patients have expressed concern, we have not received any notification from, or user warnings by manufacturers of our POCs that the use of their POCs may carry an increased risk of contracting COVID-19.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not had any cases where we were notified that a patient was found to have contracted COVID-19 as a result of using a POC.  Although, to our knowledge, no POCs available in the market have viral filters, our understanding is that given the length of the POC circuitry and oxygen tubing and the pathway the virus needs to take to reach the patient, it is unlikely that enough virus, if any, would survive the journey.    

We understand that some patients may still feel uncomfortable using a POC without more assurance or evidence from the manufacturer.  In those cases, we recommend that the patient contact the manufacturer directly to obtain more assurance or evidence or, instead, consider using oxygen cylinders with an oxygen conserving device (OCD).  Although not as convenient for some patients, the OCD system does not entrain room air into the tubing leading to the patient.  Contact your local ProResp office if you are interested in this option.

Appropriate guidelines from provincial and federal government should always be adhered to in order to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19.  These include time-tested actions that will help keep you healthy such as:
1.    Physical distancing – avoiding crowded places
2.    Hand hygiene
3.    Wearing a mask when indicated

ProResp has been helping people breathe, safely and right at home for over 41 years.