Stationary or Protable Oxygen machine for altitude sickness?

Portable Oxygen Machine

Many visitors to the mountains as us if they should rent a supplemental oxygen machine (concentrator) to help with altitude sickness and symptoms while they are visiting high altitude. Then they ask what the difference is between a stationary machine and a portable machine is. Both oxygen machines essentially do the same thing, providing 92-96% pure oxygen.  The supplemental oxygen from either machine gives your body a break, a chance to recover from sports, helps you sleep at night and provides an easier adjustment to altitude in the mountains.

With that being said, around 90% of our clients rent the stationary oxygen machine. This is the blue colored machine above.  It is on wheels and weighs around 25 pounds.   It is the size of a carry-on bag that you’d take on the airplane.  It can easily be moved from room to room or to the living room and two people can be on a machine at one time (biggest advantage).   As the stationary blows oxygen continuously, like a water faucet that is always on, it is also the most convenient to use while sleeping or if you are connecting to a CPAP machine.  The vast majority of visitors to the mountains are already healthy and they don’t need to be on oxygen “all the time” or on a portable machine. The stationary rental is also the more affordable option.

Our clients using the portable oxygen machines usually (not always) have a specific medical need for oxygen.  Generally, they need to be on oxygen 8+ hours a day and to be mobile during that time.  For example, they need to be on oxygen while walking around the house, running errands in town, driving in a car or taking a trip on an airplane. Only one person can use a portable machine at a time.  Fortunately, we have the newest portable machines that can also be used while sleeping.  Another advantage of the portable is when one is doing a week long road trip and staying at different hotels almost daily.  It is much more convenient to move to the car, etc.  Finally, there are times when there is a special event, such as a wedding, at a high altitude venue and an attendee would like the peace of mind to have an oxygen solution with them at the event.   The disadvantages of a portable oxygen machine are that they can’t be used with a CPAP machine and you can only have 1 person on it at a time.  We can ship either machine to virtually anywhere in the western U.S.  If you have any questions on either oxygen machine, reach out by phone and we’ll be glad to help.