Introduction
The purpose of Valley Inspired Products’ (VIP) 2007 Guide to Understanding Oxygen Conserving Devices is to provide valuable information regarding the operation of oxygen conserving devices (OCDs).  Since the early 1990’s, OCDs have become a popular method for efficient oxygen delivery.  Because of the continuing advances in oxygen conserving technologies in the last 15 years, patients on oxygen today can now go on longer outings with their oxygen system, such as fishing retreats, weekend-long family reunions, and even take extended vacations across the country.  There have been many advances in the area of home oxygen therapy in a short amount of time and, as a result, there is still much that is not understood about how these oxygen conserving devices function and operate. This Guide was created as a tool to help bridge that knowledge gap.
 
The target audience for this guide includes:
  • Clinicians that use and prescribe oxygen therapy with conserving devices
  • HME operations personnel that need to understand the proper functioning of conserving devices
  • Marketing personnel that need to differentiate their product from other conserving devices
  • Anyone with a vested interest in the use of conserving devices, including patients and their immediate friends and family
This guide is not intended to identify the “best” OCD. Rather, this guide is meant to educate and inform.  Each product outlined in the following pages has features and capabilities that may benefit a specific patient, yet a different combination of these products may be found to best serve the patient mix of an individual HME provider.
 
The methods and materials used to test each conserving device are outlined later in this guide.  Each device was bench tested using consistent methods throughout and selected results are reported in the Product Comparison section.  There have been no practical standards developed for the testing of conserving devices, so VIP’s noted experience in the area of oxygen therapy and conserving devices was employed for the rationale behind the specific testing protocols used for this guide.  Using our methods as described should result in the same findings for whoever may be testing these devices on their own.  If other methods are used, different results may occur.  The key to comparison testing is consistency.  If methods other than those outlined in this guide are used, they should be used for testing all devices for an accurate comparison.
 
As in all of health care, knowledge is critical to gaining maximum benefit from a product or program.  OCDs operate in very different ways.  There is an underlying assumption by many that at a given numerical setting on an OCD, the delivered therapy is equivalent to continuous flow oxygen (CFO).  Studies have shown that this is not always the case, although OCDs do have the ability to adequately oxygenate the patient even if the therapy is not equivalent.  Clinicians and providers must understand individual product operation to help provide the quality care their patients deserve.  This 2007 Guide to Understanding Oxygen Conserving Devices is meant to aid in that endeavor.
 
This information is not meant to be a replacement for sound therapy.  Oxygen patients should always be evaluated with oximetry or blood gas measurements and undergo proper clinical assessment, which includes evaluation and titration:
  • at all relevant activity levels
  • while sleeping, if required
  • using the oxygen system they will employ at home
  • during flights or at altitude for traveling patients
These assessments apply to the prescription of continuous flow therapy as well as systems that conserve oxygen.
 
Publishing Information:
2007 Guide to Understanding Oxygen Conserving Devices
Copyright © 2007 Valley Inspired Products.
All rights reserved.
 
Concept, Testing, and Content by
Robert McCoy, RRT FAARC
Ryan Diesem
 
Design & Layout by Jonathan Johnston
jonjohnston.com
 
Product Photography by Lynn Jonson
glassmoonphotography.com

NEXT: A Short History of Long Term Oxygen Therapy

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