Portable oxygen systems use compressed gas cylinders. They come in two sizes and are carried in a bag or rolled on a cart.
Small Bag Style Portable Systems
Small portable oxygen systems consist of an “M-6” aluminum cylinder, a conserving regulator, and a shoulder bag. The conserving regulator is the heart of the system. It has a micro sensor that detects every breath. This allows it to turn off the oxygen flow while the user is exhaling. This conserves oxygen and allows the system to last much longer. Therefore a smaller cylinder is required.
These systems weigh approximately five (5) pounds.
Large Portable Oxygen Systems
The larger portable oxygen systems use an aluminum “E” cylinder and are rolled on a cart. These cylinders are approximately thigh high and weigh 15 pounds. These systems can use either a standard or conserving regulator. A standard regulator does not interrupt the oxygen flow while exhaling.
Note: Conserving regulators are equipped with an emergency feature that will provide a continuous flow of oxygen. This flow is at 2lpm. However, when using an M-6 (small) cylinder and a continuous flow of oxygen the tank will empty quickly.