If you use an oxygen concentrator, you will need to periodically replace some parts. Those parts need to be disposed of correctly or recycled when possible, so don’t throw them in the garbage. If you are finished with your oxygen concentrator, full units can often be donated. Let’s take a look at how to responsibly dispose of oxygen concentrator parts and units once you no longer need them.
Every machine requires maintenance or replacement parts at some point, and oxygen concentrators are no different. While Inogen Oxygen Concentrators are low maintenance and easy to care for, you will still need to replace a part here and there. Generally speaking, your columns and batteries will be the most common parts that need eventual replacement. The expected life for the Inogen One® Oxygen System is 5 years, with the exception of the sieve beds (metal columns) which have an expected life of 1 year and the batteries, which have an expected life of 500 full charge/discharge cycles. The Inogen At Home Oxygen Concentrator has a 5 year expected life except 1 year expected life for user serviceable sieve bed columns. Refer to your users’ manual for the expected life of component parts.
Your first instinct might be to toss used columns, filters and batteries in the trash when you are done with them, but that is not a good idea. Not only is it bad for the environment and potentially dangerous to throw these parts away, but they can also be of use down the road if recycled. Parts like the lithium batteries or columns used by portable oxygen concentrators need to be disposed of safely.
When you are finished with these parts, store them in plastic zip-top bags until you can properly dispose of them. When you are ready, call your local e-waste facility or recycling facility to get directions about where and how to safely dispose of these parts. They can direct you on how to proceed from there. Please follow their instructions to ensure that you dispose of parts in a safe and environmentally sound fashion.
If you purchased an oxygen concentrator and no longer need it, you have several options. If there’s a chance you could have need of it again in the future, you can store your unit in a cool, dry place. Keep the oxygen concentrator in the protective case or carry bag it came with to keep dust or debris from building up on your machine. Before storing, remove the batteries and store them separately. Try to store the batteries while they still have a charge of 40-50% to keep them in working order and to maintain the life of the battery. Keep in mind that if your battery remains dormant for more than 90 days, it is likely that you will need to purchase new batteries when you begin using your oxygen concentrator unit again.
Veterinary clinics and fire stations can make use of oxygen equipment, like oxygen concentrators, to help pets in need of oxygen. Even if your unit can no longer be used for human patients, it could be used to save some beloved furry friends.
To prepare for donation, start by getting your oxygen concentrator assessed at a local medical supply store. They can make sure that your unit is in good working condition and is still able to be used by oxygen therapy patients. If they give you the go-ahead, the next step is to find a place to make the donation.
There are a variety of organizations that will take your oxygen concentrator as a donation. To avoid complicated shipping costs, it can be helpful to start with your local hospital or community medical center. They may be able to use your unit, or they may know of local organizations that are in need of oxygen concentrators. If your local hospital is unable to use your oxygen concentrator or direct you to a local organization in need, try a local nursing home. They may be able to take it for their patients or direct you to a different location that can make use of it. You can also contact your local medical supply store or even try contacting the American Lung Association. They may have recommendations for places to donate.
You can also look into national charitable organizations—like Medshare, Project C.U.R.E. and Med-Eq—that provide medical equipment to under-resourced areas. Each of these organizations has slightly different requirements for donation. You should contact the organization you are interested in donating to directly to find out how to get your oxygen concentrator to them. These nonprofit organizations will also be able to provide you with a tax-deductible receipt for your donation, if eligible.
It is important that you do not try to sell your oxygen concentrator privately. Oxygen concentrators are controlled by the United States Federal Drug Association, and because medical oxygen is considered a prescription drug, a doctor’s prescription is required to purchase one. Selling your unit privately could be illegal, but it could also pose a danger to someone who does not have the medical need for supplemental oxygen.
If you need replacement oxygen concentrator parts or need to purchase a new oxygen concentrator, Inogen can help. You can purchase new parts and accessories for all of our current oxygen concentrator units directly on our website. We can also help walk you through installing new parts, like particle filters or replacement columns, yourself. Pay attention to any alarms or notifications on your Inogen Oxygen Concentrator units as they will tell you if you need new parts or maintenance. If you are unsure what to do or what your unit might need, do not hesitate to call Customer Care at 1-877-466-4364.
If you need an entirely new oxygen concentrator, our Oxygen Specialists are happy to help you. Begin by exploring the oxygen concentrator products available from Inogen. Whether you need a home oxygen concentrator like the Inogen At Home, or you would prefer one of our Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrators, we invite you to learn more about what we can offer you.
Inogen ‘s purpose improving lives through respiratory care. Call 855-MY-INOGEN to find out which of our products could help you, or contact us to get more information.