Driving with an oxygen concentrator is easy if you know how. Now that you have been prescribed oxygen and purchase your POC, certain aspects of your life will change, and driving is one of those changes.
The driving part is easy, so here are a few tips to make sure you stay safe and you think of all the possible issues that arise when driving with an oxygen concentrator so you can avoid them before they happen!
Charging Your POC On the Go
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is your battery life. Keep your portable oxygen concentrator charged at all times.
Some POCs, like the Inogen One G4, have the added options of purchasing additional batteries, which come in handy when you need to drive long distances and won’t be near a charger for some time.
Some other POCs come with AC/DC power supply options, which means you can charge your portable oxygen concentrator in your car with the same port you use to charge your cell phone. The AirSep Focus and AirSep Freestyle 5 both have the capabilities for DC charging.
- You’re Driving.
There are some laws that govern the ongoing oxygen therapy while operating a vehicle. If you have severe pulmonary disease which may require you to use an oxygen therapy, you may be disqualified from your driving privileges.
Additionally, if the equipment fails, you may be at higher risk for accidents, a risk that some states do not want you to take.
Call your local DMV to learn if you can drive while using an oxygen concentrator.
- Someone Else is Driving.
There are no laws governing the use of a portable oxygen concentrator while someone else is driving. Though if you feel uncomfortable, you can explain how your concentrator works and why you use it!
Tips for Traveling with Your POC
- Don’t leave your portable oxygen concentrator in your car! The heat can damage the unit forever.
- Bring your charging chord, or a spare with you everywhere. You never know when a trip may take longer than expected and you may need a charge.
- Learn how to maintain your portable oxygen concentrator just in case anything comes up.
- Driving with an oxygen concentrator is best when you are alert, awake, and feeling well!
You are legally allowed to travel with a portable oxygen concentrator on public trains and busses. Oxygen is a prescribed medical necessity and so you cannot be denied travel and entrance onto public transportation.
We always recommend carrying a note from your doctor with you when you travel with a portable oxygen concentrator. This helps you avoid any situations with uniformed service representatives.
You can show the notes and avoid long waits for approval.