• Coronavirus Being Breathed In Through POC

    Posted by steve-blake on May 6, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Has anyone given any thought that the virus could be breathed in through your portable oxygen concentrator?  I am starting to think about this as restrictions are being relaxed.  I use an Inogen and it has a couple of mesh filters and per the manual there is another one where you plug the cannula in that is not user accessible without a special wrench.  I have not been able to find out if it is capable of filtering the virus particles out.  Thanks in advance for any input anyone might have.

    Charlene Marshall replied 3 years, 3 months ago 12 Members · 25 Replies
  • 25 Replies
  • mark-koziol

    Member
    May 6, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Hello Steve, after I read your post I did a google search and I wasn’t getting the answers to the question. Maybe I wasn’t using the proper search words. You may want to contact a company rep from Inogen and they might be able to give you the answer you are looking for. Take care, Mark.

  • sara-tanner

    Member
    May 7, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks Steve! That is very valid concern! My husband just got approved for a POC this week! I will contact the manufacturer when we receive the unit.

  • Charlene Marshall

    Member
    May 10, 2020 at 10:21 am

    @wifeofipfpatient

    Hi Sara,

    I agree, this is a very valid concern and something many folks have raised through questions. If you contact the 02 provider or manufacturer regarding this question (ie. covid-19 coming through POC) please circle back and let us know. I know many will be curious about this…
    Charlene.

  • cornelia-hendershot

    Member
    May 13, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    I called Main Street Supply a few weeks ago where I got my Imogen3 to ask about the capability of the machine to filter the COVID 19 virus.  He said he was not aware of any research on the internal filter to filter viruses. Since it is basically sucking up the sir around you & sending it directly to the respiratory system, I have no confidence it can filter COVID. When I have to into somewhere I resort to my old tank & cart. It’s cumbersome but I feel safer than with my portable.  Maybe someone can clarify this.

    CH

  • Charlene Marshall

    Member
    May 13, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Cornelia,

    I am also hoping someone can verify this information through a credible source (ie. research, their physician, etc) as I think it would be interesting to know. While I am not out hardly at all, this is something others using a POC should be mindful of. Good idea to resort back to the tanks, as heavy and cumbersome as they are. If you hear any more information on this, please circle back and let us know and I’ll do the same. Hopefully others can too!
    Stay safe,
    Charlene.

  • mike5209

    Member
    May 14, 2020 at 10:57 am

    I made some phone calls and sent some emails. Inogen has yet to respond however Phillips returned an email and said unfortunately “No the filters will not filter out vivid 19 particles”

    I would guess that the filters are pretty much the same on all POC. If or when I should get additional information I will update all of you here.

  • sara-tanner

    Member
    May 14, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Thank you Mike! I also got that answer for our new Phillips SimplyGo Mini POC “that the filter will NOT  filter out COVID 19 virus particles!” My husband just got his, so it was all new to us.

  • mark-koziol

    Member
    May 14, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you Mike and Sara for your diligent work on finding an answer for the forum members who may have had a question on this topic. Mark

  • kate-e

    Member
    May 17, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    Oh, I confess that this just makes me want to crawl into the back of a closet somewhere. 🙁

    Sorry, but the thought of being even more confined is REALLY discouraging.

  • jim-foley

    Member
    May 19, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Interesting and to me a very relevant question. I will be flying cross-country this weekend relying on a face mask and my POC for safety.  It had not occurred to me that using the POC might do more harm than good while I am in the airport or confined to the airplane’s cabin.

  • Charlene Marshall

    Member
    May 23, 2020 at 9:28 am

    How did your flight go @jim-foley? I hear the airports are using a lot of technology (in some cases, even thermal readings to identify fevers) to help keep us safe. While a pain in the neck, it is reassuring too that they’re on top of preventing the spread of COVID as much as I they can. I hope your flight went well!
    Charlene.

  • Charlene Marshall

    Member
    May 23, 2020 at 9:38 am

    I agree @katee, this can all be very scary for us! That said, I’d really want to learn whether or not this is true from a physician, and even more so, what the risk is (ie. high/low/are there things we can do to mitigate that risk, etc). I think more information is needed about how much risk can come from breathing in the virus through our POC. Everyone is learning so much about it.

  • terry-moriarty

    Member
    June 5, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    Now that my city has opened up, I thought I’d check my POC vendor’s COVID-19 guidance. I use an Inogen One G2. Their FAQs page says it does NOT filter out the virus droplets, but didn’t say not to use it. Gives instructions about sanitizing it, but no usage precautions. So I called and the CSR checked their FAQs and agreed that their POCs shouldn’t be used in crowded, public places.

    A POC sucks in air, converts it to oxygen and delivers it to your lungs directly. If COVID-19 is in the air around you, it does no good to have a mask on because the oxygen you receive doesn’t come from breathing through your mouth or nose.

    I know we wear masks primarily to protect other people if we have the virus and don’t realize it. But an effective mask does provide the wearer some increased protection.

    So, if i’m going to be in a situation where I can’t practice social distancing, I’m going to drag out my tanks and wear my mask.

    Stay safe.

     

  • Charlene Marshall

    Member
    June 13, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information with us @tmoriarty ! I know this has been a topic on the minds of many of us as we begin to venture out, as some restrictions ease. I appreciate the time you took to circle back and report the information you heard from your POC provider, thank you. Like you, I think I’ll try to use my tanks in situations where I can’t socially distance, as it just seems safer for us at this time. I hope you’re doing well and thanks again for sharing.
    Charlene.

  • susan-howitt

    Member
    August 28, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I don’t know if this helps or not but ever since the beginning of the pandemic I have been using hand sanitizer on the nasal prongs of my POC, before use and after, I just let it dry a little, as I always assumed that it didn’t filter out the virus, is this a safe practise, no idea but it eases my mind.

  • Charlene Marshall

    Member
    August 29, 2020 at 9:33 am

    @reglois

    Hey Susan,

    In theory this is a really good idea, so I totally understand why you would have done this. However, be really careful with hand-sanitizer on your cannula as it has alcohol in it, which is extremely flammable. Unlikely to have anything happen, but it could, similar to Vaseline, which they say never to put on your nose while using your cannula (not because of alcohol, but another ingredient in Vaseline is extremely flammable). The alcohol, over time, in the hand sanitizer, could also potentially degrade the plastic of the cannula. Just something to think about ….

    Char.

  • suzanne-r-brennan

    Member
    September 1, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    I had the same concerns and discussed them with my doctor. He said that I should use a green O2 tank if I have to be outside around people as he expressed the same concerns. My husband tried to figure out if he could add a carbon filter to the intake areas beneath the mesh but he quickly realized that it would restrict the air to be concentrated for breathing too much so it would be better to just plan on using a green tank.

  • susan-howitt

    Member
    September 1, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Charlene

    Never use the POC inside so no fire risk anywhere and only go out once a week usually.  Thought of the degradation but the cannula is changed regularly and I haven’t noticed any damage to it, here I am never in a crowd. I have no options other than the POC outside.

  • Charlene Marshall

    Member
    September 2, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Suzanne,

    Thank you so much for sharing your doctor’s recommendations on which tank to us amid the fears of the virus being breathed in through the 02 tank/POC. Is the green one you’re referring to the size (ie. D vs. E) or the type of respirator valve? I think we might measure it/describe tanks differently here in Canada, but the top of my E tank is green so I’m curious about whether this is what your doctor means. Really interesting, thanks for sharing!
    Char.

  • Charlene Marshall

    Member
    September 2, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Hey Susan,

    Ah, good to know. Glad you have the POC option to use indoors and change the cannula often. Thanks for your reply! Char.

  • susan-howitt

    Member
    November 8, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    I now have a POC that uses liquid oxygen so no POC sucking in all the germs and viruses around, so happy about that as the virus is on the rampage in Europe.  Hated the thought of being in hospital at the moment but so very glad I went in.  Was on 2 litres per minute when moving and 2 litres at rest.  That was in late July of this year now on 6 litres per min when moving and still on the 2 litres at rest, oh my I feel alive again, no more plunging down to 55 in blood oxygen when I moved.  Fibrosis much worse but sadly we all know these lung diseases are progressive. Walked my dogs for the first time in months, 3kms, so I had to stop 4 times to get my breathe back but was elated with this achievement. Now I know I can safely go into a supermarket, still in the lunch hour though, and not suck in all the microbes around me. Great big O2 tanks are no design feature but who cares I can breathe especially with the little POC and its liquid O2, looks similar to an ordinary POC, has any one else got one of these, I fill it from the big cylinders.?

  • marylou-ward

    Member
    November 10, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    First time commenting. I’ve had IPF OR DIAGNOSED for 3 years and I’m 76 yo.  I was thinking I would put a mask over the imput of my simply go concentrator.   I treat my concentrator as a pet, I call him Spike.

     

  • marylou-ward

    Member
    November 10, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    First time commenting. I’ve had IPF OR DIAGNOSED for 3 years and I’m 76 yo.  I was thinking I would put a mask over the import of my simply go concentrator.   I treat my concentrator as a pet, I call him Spike.

     

  • Charlene Marshall

    Member
    November 10, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    @marylouplay

     

    Hi Mary Lou,

    Thanks for writing, I’m so glad you chimed in and shared your thoughts on this topic! I also name my POC and 02 tanks 🙂 Putting a mask on would be comical for sure, and would potentially protect any virus particles getting through, just ensure the machine doesn’t overheat if the filter is covered 😉

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