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Pulse and Continuous Airflow.

Title: Understanding the Crucial Difference Between Pulse and Continuous Flow Oxygen Concentrators


Oxygen concentrators play a vital role in assisting patients with respiratory issues to breathe easier and maintain their quality of life. Two common types of oxygen concentrators are pulse and continuous flow machines. In this blog post, we will delve into the medical distinctions between these two devices and explore why some patients require continuous airflow as opposed to a pulse setting.

Pulse Oxygen Concentrators: Portability and On-Demand Delivery

Pulse flow oxygen concentrators are designed to be portable and lightweight, offering patients the flexibility to move around freely. They operate by detecting the patient's breath and delivering oxygen in short bursts or pulses during inhalation. The device releases a concentrated dose of oxygen only when the patient breathes in, which helps to conserve oxygen and extend the machine's battery life.

Pros of Pulse Oxygen Concentrators:

  • Portability: Patients can remain active and mobile while receiving oxygen therapy.

  • Battery Efficiency: The on-demand delivery helps conserve power, making them suitable for travel and outdoor activities.

Cons of Pulse Oxygen Concentrators:

  • Inconsistent Flow: The pulse delivery may not be suitable for patients who require a constant supply of oxygen, especially during activities that demand continuous exertion.

Continuous Flow Oxygen Concentrators: Stability and Steady Oxygen Delivery

Continuous flow oxygen concentrators are stationary devices commonly used in clinical settings or at home. Unlike pulse machines, continuous flow concentrators provide a constant and steady flow of oxygen regardless of the patient's breathing pattern. They are available in various flow rates to meet the specific needs of patients.

Pros of Continuous Flow Oxygen Concentrators:

  • Consistency: Patients receive a steady supply of oxygen at all times, ensuring their oxygen saturation levels remain stable.

  • Versatility: Continuous flow concentrators can be used during sleep, physical activities, and around the clock if necessary.

Cons of Continuous Flow Oxygen Concentrators:

  • Lack of Portability: The size and weight of these devices make them less suitable for frequent travel or outdoor use.

Medical Importance of Continuous Flow for Specific Patients

Continuous flow oxygen concentrators are essential for patients who have specific medical requirements that cannot be adequately met by pulse machines. Some medical conditions that necessitate continuous airflow include:

a. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Patients with advanced COPD often experience chronic hypoxemia and require a continuous supply of oxygen to maintain adequate oxygen levels.

b. Exercise and Sleep: During physical exertion or sleep, patients may experience fluctuations in their breathing patterns. A continuous flow ensures consistent oxygen delivery, even during these periods.

c. High Oxygen Dependency: Patients with severe respiratory illnesses, such as pulmonary fibrosis or severe asthma, require higher oxygen concentrations that can only be achieved through continuous flow.

d. Critical Care Situations: In intensive care units or critical care settings, continuous flow oxygen concentrators are necessary to stabilize patients and support their respiratory function.


In summary, the primary difference between pulse and continuous flow oxygen concentrators lies in their oxygen delivery mechanism. Pulse concentrators offer portability and battery efficiency, making them suitable for patients who are relatively active and mobile. On the other hand, continuous flow concentrators ensure a stable and constant supply of oxygen, which is indispensable for patients with specific medical conditions that demand uninterrupted oxygen support.

Before prescribing any oxygen concentrator, healthcare professionals carefully assess the patient's needs and medical condition to determine the most appropriate type of device. Choosing the right oxygen concentrator ensures that patients receive optimal therapy and enjoy an improved quality of life.

Important Announcement.

It is crucial for patients to remember that the information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Each individual's medical condition is unique, and determining the most suitable treatment, including the type of oxygen concentrator, requires personalized evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional. If you or a loved one are dealing with respiratory issues and considering oxygen therapy, it is vital to consult your doctor or a respiratory specialist. Only a medical professional can assess your specific health needs, conduct necessary tests, and recommend the appropriate treatment plan tailored to your condition. Your doctor's expertise will ensure that you receive the best possible care and make informed decisions about your health. Always seek professional medical advice for any health-related concerns or questions.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. Consult a qualified healthcare professional for personalized medical guidance and treatment.

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