“That Online Oxygen Concentrator Store told me this was the best choice”Quick Summary
- Beware Sellers That Don’t Ask for Your Prescription
- There are no “One Size Fits All” Oxygen Concentrators
- Don’t Be Fooled By Free Trial Periods
Should I Buy Online?Buying Home Oxygen Concentrators or Portable Oxygen Concentrators online can be an exciting prospect. The simplicity of online ordering coupled with the convenience of doing it from the comfort of your own home can be almost too hard to pass up. However, it may not be your best option. Every oxygen therapy patient is different. Between five COPD patients it’s likely that each patient will need a greater or lesser amount of oxygen per breath. That means that no single oxygen concentrator can satisfy all of those patients’ needs. With this in mind, let’s cover a few steps you can take yourself to ensure you are making the right decision.
Step 1: Your Doctor’s PrescriptionPortable Oxygen Concentrators and their home-based counterparts are serious medical equipment. You can’t purchase one without a legal doctor’s prescription. It’s important for you to talk with your doctor and ensure they are prescribing the proper oxygen requirements. Make sure it has a Titration Target written clearly on it. This information is invaluable when it comes to finding the right device.
Step 2: Not All Concentrators are Created EqualIf at all possible you should strive to visit a brick and mortar medical oxygen concentrator store. A respectable retailer will have trained staff on site to work with you. Between portable and home oxygen concentrators there are over 20 different makes and models. With a specialist’s help they’ll begin to whittle down the number of models that can meet your doctor’s prescription. From there, they should monitor your blood’s oxygenation with an Oximeter while you use different machines. Why is it important they check this? If you’re not receiving the proper levels of oxygen you’ll feel weak, light headed and could even pass out. If you can’t visit a store then make sure you purchase a fingertip pulse oximeter. As you begin to use your new product, ensure you are meeting your doctor’s prescribed titration target.
Step 3: Review Trial and Returns PolicyMany companies have flashy banners on their website declaring “10 Day No Risk Trial” or “30 Day No Risk Trial.” It’s a comforting phrase to read, because oxygen concentrators are a large investment, especially on a limited income. Therefore, you want to know that if the oxygen equipment isn’t satisfying your needs you’ll have a means to recoup the money or get it exchanged for one that will. But be aware that like most things, all that glitters is not gold. Although these companies may offer a “30 Day Trial” there are a significant number of caveats to those thirty days, especially if you purchase from an online only retailer.
Common Traps of Online Oxygen Concentrator Store Return PoliciesThere’s no such thing as “free.” Here are some of the common things to look out for:
- Damaged Upon Delivery: If your oxygen equipment is delivered to you damaged, most companies require you notify them within 48 hours. If you fail to notify them, you are responsible for any repair costs if the device doesn’t run properly after the first two days.
- Return Shipping: If you decide within the allotted time frame that you want to return your equipment, you are responsible for the cost of shipping it back to the retailer. Typical ground shipping on one of these portable devices is anywhere from $50-$100.