Is It Possible to Get a Non-Prescription Oxygen Concentrator?by Benjamin Strusnik
If you suspect you’re dealing with low oxygen levels, we recommend getting it checked out by a medical professional. But if you’ve been on the internet, you’ve likely come across cheap, non-prescription oxygen concentrators. Our factory-trained oxygen concentrator service experts have tested these cheap non-prescription oxygen concentrators. When we open them up and test them, they are, at best, glorified mini-fans. Nowhere close are they capable of producing medical-grade oxygen.
Do you need a prescription for an oxygen concentrator? What are the dangers of going without one? Are these non-prescription oxygen concentrators legal? Use this article to make an informed choice when choosing an oxygen concentrator and preserve your quality of life.
What this article covers:
- What Is a Oxygen Concentrator?
- The Dangers of Non-Prescription Oxygen Concentrators
- How to Get a Oxygen Concentrator Prescription
- Non-Prescription Oxygen Concentrators (faq)
What Is a Oxygen Concentrator?
Oxygen concentrators are medical devices that separate oxygen from the air and concentrate it for use in oxygen therapy. Oxygen therapy treats various medical conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and heart failure.
Oxygen concentrators work by taking in air from the surrounding environment and using a series of filters to remove nitrogen and other gases. The remaining oxygen is then concentrated and delivered to the patient through a nasal cannula or face mask.
Oxygen concentrators are available in a variety of sizes and styles, including portable and stationary models. Portable oxygen concentrators are smaller and lighter than stationary models, making them easier to transport. Stationary oxygen concentrators are typically larger and more powerful than portable models, making them better suited for people who need a higher level of oxygen therapy.
There are two types of oxygen concentrators:
- Portable Oxygen Concentrators: They provide a pulse flow of oxygen and are much smaller in size. Users can carry around mini portable oxygen concentrators and continue with their daily duties.
- Stationary Oxygen Concentrators: They provide a continuous flow of oxygen with a standard delivery system. They are called stationary concentrators because patients cannot move them around.
Oxygen concentrators are typically used for long-term oxygen therapy, which is needed by people with chronic medical conditions that affect their breathing.
Oxygen concentrators are not a substitute for medical care. If you have a medical condition that requires oxygen therapy, you should talk to your doctor about the best way to get the oxygen you need.
Do You Need A Prescription For An Oxygen Concentrator?
Yes, you always need a prescription for a legitimate and legal oxygen concentrator. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires all oxygen concentrator device users to have a prescription from legally authorized prescribers.
- Medical Doctors (MD)
- Physician Assistants (PA)
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)
- Optometrists (OD)
- Dentists (DMD)
- Veterinarians (DVM)
As we mentioned earlier, oxygen concentrators are class II medical devices. They require both:
- General Controls: Overarching safety and production controls to ensure the best possible medical device standards.
Special Controls: Class II specific controls that monitor oxygen concentrator performance standards, product postmarket surveillance, patient registries, specific labeling requirements, premarket data and requirements, and product guidelines.
The Dangers of Non-Prescription Oxygen Concentrators
Even though it is required by law that users have a prescription to use and buy oxygen concentrators, there are still people who risk buying illegal oxygen concentrators.
Most often, this is caused by people who are in desperate need of the device but don’t have the funds to purchase them.
However, there are many ways to legally and safely buy high-quality oxygen concentrators–with a prescription–from affordable telehealth or online authorized prescription oxygen concentrator retailers.
In the digital age, the internet has put many people in touch with medical professionals and reputable telehealth organizations. But it’s also led to an influx of people who self-diagnose conditions that need to be checked out by a doctor.
To accurately diagnose a respiratory issue that requires oxygen therapy, you need to get in touch with a healthcare provider..
Doctors and other FDA-approved prescribers will have the knowledge necessary to accurately diagnose respiratory issues and help you choose an oxygen concentrator. If you need additional testing, they’ll also have the foresight to send you for oxygen tests like these:
- Oximetry: A doctor will attach a pulse oximeter to your finger and measure your oxygen saturation levels. It’s a fast and easy method. If your blood saturation is under 90%, you will need to follow up with your doctor to improve your Sp02 levels.
- Arterial Blood Gas: An ABG test is an in-depth blood and body analysis that accurately examines your blood health. The test will measure the pH, oxygen, and carbon dioxide levels of your blood. All of these things affect how well your blood and lungs are doing their job. The normal ABG range is between 75 and 100 mmHg.
- Lung Function Test: A lung function test checks how well you inhale and exhale. It also tests how well your body sends oxygen into your cells.
Self diagnose won’t accurately diagnose the condition causing your problems. If you self-prescribe an oxygen concentrator for what seems like a mild case of asthma, you could be missing something as serious and life-threatening as lung cancer or pneumonia.
Oxygen Concentrator Scams
Evidence shows the black market for oxygen concentrators is booming, and it’s not because of shady business dealings in back rooms. Today, you can easily purchase scam oxygen concentrators online and offline.
The most straightforward way to know it’s a scam is when they don’t require a prescription.
Scam oxygen concentrators have no regulations in place. When you buy oxygen concentrators from an authorized distributor, the products have been tested and quality checked by the FDA to ensure the safety of the people who use them.
Black-market oxygen concentrators have no obligation to keep you safe. Most fake oxygen concentrators don’t contain anything worth paying for.
The majority contain only a regular fan. The few obtained through illegal means from reputable retailers (usually the oxygen concentrators that were thrown out for not being up to standard) have faulty systems that could be dangerous.
Buying fake oxygen concentrators will only waste your money and your time.
How To Get A Oxygen Concentrator Prescription
If you already have a prescription from your doctor, ask them for a copy of your oxygen prescription.
If you don’t have one yet, contact Main Clinic Supply. We’ll do a quick, over-the-phone consultation with one of our medical doctors. They’ll then provide an oxygen prescription for one of the best oxygen concentrators.
Getting an oxygen concentrator from Main Clinic Supply is fast, easy, and much safer than a scam oxygen concentrator.
Oxygen concentrators are the most efficient and convenient way to receive oxygen therapy while maintaining your freedom. Though it may seem like a hassle to get a medical prescription, it is actually very easy.
Here at Main Clinic Supply, we will contact your healthcare provider to obtain your existing oxygen prescription. Alternatively, we will set up a quick call with a telehealth physician over the phone to quickly obtain your new oxygen prescription.
Non-Prescription Oxygen Concentrators (FAQ)
How long can an oxygen concentrator run?
Oxygen concentrators can run almost indefinitely as long as they have a power supply. Because they use ambient air, there is no need to refill any oxygen tanks or other mechanisms.
Portable oxygen concentrators use battery packs, with some running up to 12 hours. The exact duration will depend on the brand and type of oxygen concentrator you purchase.
Is it worth buying an oxygen concentrator?
It is definitely worth it. Oxygen concentrators are affordable, powerful, reliable, and portable options that allow patients to continue living their lives without being weighed down by their disabilities.
Does an oxygen concentrator use a lot of electricity?
The average oxygen concentrator uses around the same amount of electricity as a medium-sized fridge, sometimes a little more. Typical ranges are between 250 to 480 watts an hour, depending on the oxygen concentrator’s capacity. Different brands also have different wattage requirements.
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