Updated May 19, 2021. This article is based on my experience of sending an oxygen concentrator to India from the United States. I decided to write this article on how to send an oxygen concentrator to India from the United States because a lot of people have the same questions…and I want to help. Unfortunately there is a lot of half information, misinformation and outright fraud being spread on social media.
These are ALL of the steps that I did to buy and ship an oxygen concentrator to India.
I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned in the article. This is my true and honest experience. I hope this information helps you and your loved ones. I am praying for everyone.
Important Notes Before You Research and Buy an Oxygen Concentrator
- FedEx will NOT ship a used, secondhand, refurbished oxygen concentrator
- The oxygen concentrator must be new and unused
- It’s best to buy an oxygen concentrator that runs on wall AC power or batteries that can be removed.
- For concentrators that run on batteries, you will be required to remove the batteries before shipping. You are not allowed to ship batteries to India via FedEx.
- For concentrators that require batteries that cannot be removed, you will need to call FedEx and ask for assistance with shipping “dangerous goods”.
Important When You Contact Oxygen Concentrator Companies
When you call companies to buy the oxygen concentrator you must tell them that:
- you’re buying it as a gift or a donation
- that it will be shipped overseas
- will not be used domestically
I will keep updating the article if things change, as I learn more, as it’s a fluid situation.
I have been receiving many emails about a prescription required by the companies that sell the oxygen concentrators. My understanding is that a prescription is required to buy an oxygen concentrator in the United States. And that is must be from a US doctor per the FDA (Food & Drug Administration). However, the current situation is very unique because you are buying the oxygen concentrator for export and for use for a patient in India – no domestic use.
What I am seeing is that the prescription requirement, for this specific use case, is up to the discretion of the seller.
You need to talk to someone at the seller company and explain the situation. Do not simply go to the company’s website > see that they require a prescription and give up. Contact them and explain as described in the section above. Again this is a very unique use case.
If after you explain, they still require a prescription, then you’ll have to ask them specifically what info they need and whether they will accept a prescription from a doctor in India, since that’s where the patient is.
Topics Covered In This Article
- Understanding the Process: purchase to Indian Customs
- Can you ship an oxygen concentrator to India?
- Which Oxygen Concentrator to Buy?
- Where To Buy an Oxygen Concentrator
- Shipping To India
- Who Pays the GST?
- Shipping Forms Tips
- What happens to the Concentrator When It Arrives in India?
- What about electrical power conversion?
- Why Not Get a Concentrator in India?
- Oxygen Concentrator vs. Oxygen Cylinder
- Contact for Questions
Right off the bat, I think a lot of people want to know how much all of this costs and the overall process so I cover that first. Then I go into every detail at every step of the process. My intent is to make this as easy for you as possible. You can also jump to a section by clicking the links below.
- 5L Invacre oxygen concentrator = ~$995 USD
- 5L Philips EverFlo oxygen concentrator = ~$1500 USD
- 10L Invacre oxygen concentrator = ~$1995 USD
- 10L EverFlo oxygen concentrator = ~$2500 USD
- Shipping to your US address: $160-$200 (1-2 day priority)
- Shipping to India: $350-$1200 USD (priority international 3-5 business days via FedEx)
- GST = mine ended up being approximately $200 USD. In general, it’s approximately 12% of the assessed value of the item as assessed at Customs when it arrives in India.
Customs Duty vs. GST (Goods and Services Tax). Customs Duty and GST are two different things. The Indian government has waived Customs Duty on oxygen concentrators until July 2021. But they have not waived GST. My understanding is that they did however reduce the GST rate from 28% to 12% because of the COVID crisis. Again, the GST assessed on the oxygen concentrator I purchased ended up being approximately $200 USD.
ProTip: Clarify who is going to pay the GST upfront (you or your relatives) before you ship the oxygen concentrator. You don’t want to run into issues/surprises once it reaches India. FedEx will ask you whether to bill you or have the recipient pay the GST, at the time when you are shipping the concentrator.
Full details on what happens once it arrives in India, below in the shipping section.
What I Bought
5L Philips EverFlo from Main Clinic Supply
Shipped direct through FedEx.
As I understand, as of May 7, 2021 they may be sold out. Try reaching out to Philips directly. Also do a local Google search, “oxygen concentrators in ___<your local area>_____”. There are many local retailers. However, most of them will not ship nor deliver the concentrator. In most cases you have to pick it up.
Are There Less Expensive Oxygen Concentrators?
Yes. But I found that the ones that are high quality and will actually help people are in this price range of approximately $1000 USD to $2500 USD. There are recertified machines (aka used machines) that I found in the $500 USD price range. Please note: FedEx will NOT ship used/refurbished oxygen concentrators.
Here is The Overall Process: Start to Finish
- Buy oxygen concentrator in the US
- Have it shipped to your US address
- You arrange shipping to India
- Shipment goes through Customs in India
- Delivery to recipient = your relative’s home. Again, since I’ve been receiving emails with this question, FedEx will deliver it to your relative’s home. They will not have to pick it up from somewhere.
How Much time Did This Take? From the time that I shipped the oxygen concentrator, it took 1 week (7 days) for my relatives to receive it at their front door. That is based on shipping via FedEx 3 day.
Delivery During Lockdowns? To the best of my knowledge, FedEx is still delivering during lockdowns.
If you’re still reading and you still want to move forward with shipping an oxygen concentrator to India, I have broken down the steps with as much detail as possible.
How To Use This Article
My recommendation is:
- Read the whole article.
- Search for and purchase the oxygen concentrator that you want.
- Re-read the shipping section of this article.
Can You Ship An Oxygen Concentrator to Family in India?
Yes. The Indian government eased restrictions due to the COVID crisis. Individuals can send an oxygen concentrator as a gift to relatives in India. When you call companies to buy an oxygen concentrator, make sure you tell them the truth – which is the sole focus of this guide to help you provide help to your loved ones due to the COVID crisis in India. Tell them that the oxygen concentrator is:
- a gift
- will be shipped overseas
- will not be used domestically
None of the oxygen concentrator companies that I contacted would ship directly to India. You will need to have it shipped to your US address. You will then arrange the shipping to India.
I will address which concentrators, where to purchase, costs and fees. Just keep reading.
Which Concentrator Should You Buy?
There are several different types of concentrators available such as portable, non-portable, 5L and 10L. And they range from approximately $350-$2000 USD. The most important factor is the oxygen concentration, also referred to as the oxygen purity. You want an oxygen concentrator that can produce an oxygen purity of between 90-96% at every flow rate. That means that whether the doctor has prescribed .5L or 5L of oxygen, that the machine can produce an oxygen concentration of 90-96% or higher. Not all machines can do that.
When you’re buying the machine it will be described as 93% oxygen concentration or 93% oxygen purity +/- 3%. Make sure it says at all flow rates. If the oxygen concentrator cannot produce an oxygen concentration of 90-96% at all flow rates, then do not buy it.
In addition to the shortage of oxygen concentrators in India, this is the primary problem that people are facing with the concentrators in India – they are not quality machines. Most of them max out at 35% oxygen concentration.
Continuous Flow vs. Pulse Dose Concentrators
There are continuous flow and pulse dose concentrators. I bought a continuous flow concentrator. For the use case on which this article is based – the immediate need in India due to the pandemic, to get people through COVID, for most people a continuous flow concentrator is sufficient.
Continuous Flow Concentrators deliver a continuous flow of oxygen regardless of the patient’s breathing. Pulse dose concentrators customize the oxygen based on the patient’s breathing and inhaling. As you can imagine, pulse dose concentrators are more involved as they have to be setup, administered and supervised more closely.
Other Features of Oxygen Concentrators
Sound. Ideally the oxygen concentrator runs as quietly as possible, the EverFlo 5L runs at an average of 40dB.
Portability. The EverFlo 5L weights 31lb. and has wheels, so it can be moved easily. Most concentrators described in this article weigh between 30-45lb. and have wheels.
There are many brands of oxygen concentrators. I only considered and researched 3 brands: Inogen, Invacre, and EverFlo. I did not look into any other machines. If you have questions about other brands, I’m sorry but I don’t have any knowledge to share.
5L vs. 10L Oxygen Concentrator?
Don’t assume that 10L is better than 5L. The number of liters refers to the number of liters of oxygen delivered per minute. A 5L machine can deliver up to 5L of oxygen per minute whereas a 10L machine can deliver up to 10L of oxygen per minute. The larger the flow rate capability the more the machine costs.
For your relative 5L might be sufficient. So again, don’t assume the 10L machine is better.
I only considered 5L and 10L concentrators.
Connect Two 5L Machines
My understanding is that you can connect two 5L machines together to increase output or even have two people using the machine simultaneously. I did not spend time researching these features. My only reason for including them is to bring them to the attention of anyone who’s interested so you can look into it further.
Which one you should buy depends on the needs of the patient which can only be determined by a doctor. But it also depends on availability.
Portable and Battery Powered Oxygen Concentrators
I did not consider buying one of these so my knowledge is pretty much 0 about these other than that they were not powerful enough for what my relatives (and my friends’ and family as well).
Remove Batteries Before Shipping. If you’re shipping an oxygen concentrator that has removable batteries, remove them from the unit before shipping. You cannot ship batteries via FedEx.
Oxygen concentrator with batteries that cannot be removed. If you are shipping an oxygen concentrator that has batteries that cannot be removed from the unit, call FedEx to get help with “shipping dangerous goods”.
My Experience Buying an Oxygen Concentrator
I wanted a 10L Inogen. I called Inogen but it wasn’t available for 4-6 weeks. Then I looked into the Invacre 10L Platinum and I actually bought it as the guy told me I’d have it the next day. He called me at 4pm the next day to tell me, it’d be another two days. At that point I got a full refund and looked at other options. Then, I found the 5L EverFlo…it was available and they could have it to me in 2 days – so I went with it.
The reason I wanted the 10L in the first place, was just in case the needs of my relatives changed. But in times like this, time is of the essence so I decided to focus on the immediate need instead of trying to solve the immediate as well as potential future needs.
What Brand of Concentrator to Buy
For non-medical folks, like me, this can be confusing. There are many options. So I reached out to the smart and reliable medical professionals in my network, who have treated COVID patients. I also spoke to my relatives to understand their needs. I bought a 5L Philips EverFlo concentrator. Invacre and Inogen are very reputable brands as well.
There are other brands such as DeVilbliss which makes a 5L oxygen concentrator and +\-93% oxygen concentration at every flow rate. The only one that I could find that was readily available was recertified — meaning it was a used machine that was sent to the manufacturer to be “tuned up” and resold. The refurbished oxygen concentrators are significantly less cost, in the $500 USD range. Again, please note: FedEx will NOT ship refurbished/used oxygen concentrators.
Where to Buy the Concentrator From
I purchased from a company called Main Clinic Supply in Rochester, Minnesota. They were fantastic. Their sales reps were patient, helpful and provided very valuable information. For special cases involving donations they work hard to help. Call them for details.
There’s another company called O2 Assist and they tried to be helpful, but I found them to be unreliable with when we could expect to receive the machine. I found them via a Google search. They’re a retailer vs. a manufacturer.
I called Inogen too. They’re a bigger company and have very knowledgeable salespeople. The only challenge with them was that their 10L machine wasn’t available for 4-6 weeks – so that was not an option.
ProTip Birthdates of Whom You’re Sending It For: When I purchased they wanted to know the name and birthdate of the patient for whom I was sending it. This is for their reference as well as to exempt you from tax – so…pretty important. So gather that info, so as not to cause a delay. I had to wake up my cousin in the middle of the night, in India, in order to ensure to not lose a day on shipping here. I felt bad for doing that and had I known I needed that info ahead of time, I would have gotten it accordingly.
Shipping the Oxygen Concentrator To Your US Address
Once you buy the oxygen concentrator, no manufacturer nor retailer will ship it directly to India. You’ll need to have it shipped to your US address and then you will arrange shipping to India. These machines weigh between 30-60lb. and the box it comes in is pretty big like 3ft. tall so make sure there’s someone who can lift it up when it arrives.
Overall Shipping Process
- You ship the concentrator from the US.
- It arrives in India.
- It has to clear Customs.
- FedEx acts as the Customs clearing agent.
- Once the shipment clears Customs, FedEx delivers it to the destination and will collect the GST on delivery (if you selected to have the recipient pay the GST at the time that you shipped the package).
Overall, for me, this process took 7 days. FedEx delivers it to the final destination = your relative’s home. Your relative will not have to go somewhere to pick it up. The documents that your relative will need to complete and provide to FedEx (described below) are also done online – your relative will not have to go somewhere to complete them. FedEx makes it easy.
Two Options To Ship The Oxygen Concentrator to India
You can ship directly through a shipping company such as FedEx, UPS, or DHL. Or you can use a third party. I went directly through FedEx and that’s what I’ve described below. I have also described as much of the process with Parcel Monkey (third party) as I could. Since I did not use them I cannot speak to the process any further than what is described below.
Ship With FedEx vs. Third Party
I will share two ways to ship the concentrator to India:
- Directly through FedEx
- 3rd party website called Parcel Monkey. They use FedEx, UPS, and DHL but you book the shipment via Parcel Monkey’s website. Why would you use this option? Because shipping costs are a lot lower.
Shipping Costs For 1-3 Day International Priority
Parcel Monkey shipping costs = ~$380 USD partners with FedEx
FedEx shipping costs = ~$700-~$900 USD if you have a FedEx account
FedEx shipping costs = ~$1000 USD without a FedEx account
Even though it was quite a bit more, I shipped directly through FedEx using my FedEx account, instead of using Parcel Monkey. If something happens to the shipment along the way, I want the ability to contact FedEx directly vs. having to rely on a 3rd party.
Again, I used FedEx and that’s what I describe below. This process may be slightly different with UPS and DHL.
ProTip: If you have a FedEx account, the shipping rate may be less than the published rate that you will find if you go to fedex.com.
Tips For Shipping Directly Through FedEx
If you decide to ship directly through FedEx there are two things you’ll need:
- an airbill
- commercial invoice
An airbill is the form that you will fill out with your address, the recipient’s address and package specifications. Choose someone whom you trust to handle the logistics once it reaches India. When the concentrator reaches India, FedEx is going to contact this person and ask them to provide ID. The name on the ID has to match the name on the Airbill and the Commercial Invoice.
A commercial invoice is required when an item is exported. This form will have your address, the recipient’s address, specifications about the package – weight, size, description of the goods.
Recommendation: Go To FedEx In-Person Instead of Filling Out Forms Online
I recommend that you take the oxygen concentrator to a FedEx Shipping Center and complete the paperwork there vs. trying to complete the paperwork online beforehand. Why? It was SO MUCH EASIER. Online, the forms were cumbersome and asked for things like the Harmonized Code which is a number that categorizes the item for Customs purposes. When you go to the FedEx office they take care of all of this for you.
Harmonized Codes for FedEx. But, just in case you want to know it’s 9019.20 if you’re sending it to a business recipient or 9804.90 for an individual recipient.
They were very helpful and even took the concentrator out of my car for me since it was so heavy!
How It Worked at FedEx to Ship to India
You take the oxygen concentrator and don’t need to take any forms with you – they’ll give you everything you need. So I’ll describe how it worked overall first and then share the details.
- They handed me the Commercial Invoice
- I filled it out (super easy)
- Then I handed it to the FedEx person
- The FedEx person prepared the air bill, shipping labels
- The FedEx person applied the labels to the box, making sure to cover up any other labels on the box.
- That was it!
Now the details…
The Commercial Invoice asks for all the info you’d expect:
- Your name, address, email, phone
- Recipient’s name, address, email, phone
- Package Description
- Shipping weight, number of packages
- Total $ value
- Sign + date
ProTip Regarding Shipping Weight: Shipping weight and package weight are two different things. Make sure you enter the shipping weight on the Commercial Invoice. The company from whom you purchased the oxygen concentrator should provide this information.
ProTip Regarding Total Value: As long as the item is in your packaging (keep reading, I’ll explain what that means) and the total value of the shipment (per the paper work) is less than $2500 USD then no additional documents are necessary.
What does ‘”your packaging” mean = not FedEx packaging. This should be no worries, since you’re not likely to open the box anyway. I got the concentrator from Main Clinic Supply and then shipped it in the box it came in.
Why does FedEx packaging matter? Liability issues. FedEx only wants responsibility up to a certain dollar amount and whether an item is in their packaging matters, which protects products matters.
If, however, you declared the value to be $2500 USD or higher, then FedEx will ask you for additional paperwork that will need to be sent to FedEx’s headquarters in Memphis for processing and approval…which means delays. So that’s something to be aware of and prepared for.
They’ll ask for the Electronic Export Information (EEI). You’ll have to call FedEx for assistance with providing them that information. When you call FedEx, select “international shipping” and tell them you need help with providing them EEI information.
Once you complete, sign and date the Commercial Invoice, it’s really easy. You’ll hand the Commercial Invoice to the FedEx person and then he/she will create the Air Bill.
They asked me what the item is. I told them the truth – that it is an O2 Concentrator. They need this info so one they can make sure you’re not shipping something that you’re not supposed to. They also need it so that they can assign it to a category. They assigned it in the machine category. Then they asked me, who will pay the GST.
The O2 Concentrator is a gift. Make sure to tell the FedEx people that it’s a gift.
Who Will Pay the GST? She asked me whether I want my account to be billed for the GST or if the recipient will pay it. You can make your selection at that time. Regardless of who pays, when the concentrator reaches India, FedEx has a process called Know Your Customer (KYC). This process I’m describing below is for shipping to an individual, not a business.
FedEx will contact the recipient (your relative) and ask them to complete the Know Your Customer Forms by going to kyc.fedex.com. That will require them to verify their identity using a government issued ID such as their Aadhaar Card or PAN card with proof of address. Make sure the name on the KYC form exactly matches the name on the Airbill and the Commercial Invoice Form. Do not use nicknames etc. Use proper names as per government issued identification. If the names do not match, it will delay your shipment.
In addition to the KYC Form, the individual consignee (your relative) will need to send a non-IEC declaration stating that the shipment clearance is to be completed on the Aadhaar or PAN of the individual. IEC = importer exporter code which is issued by the Indian government. Again, if you are shipping to an individual (not a business or other entity) then state that the clearance of the shipment will be based on the Aadhar or PAN card of the individual. The KYC documents are completed online – your relative will not have to go somewhere to fill out paperwork – it’s all done online.
If you selected for the recipient to pay the GST, they will be required to pay on delivery. If they do not, the item might not be delivered and/or they may charge you – the sender.
ProTip: Very important to put a valid email address for the recipient on the shipping forms as they will contact the recipient.
Then she printed the shipping labels and stuck them on the box along with the forms and that was it! SO MUCH EASIER than filling out the forms on the FedEx website.
Non Tech Savvy Elderly Recipients
I’ve received emails from a few people that are worried about their elderly loved ones being unable to navigate the Know Your Customer Process. You may be able to help them with this. I suggest that you contact FedEx and ask them for advice. Also, please send me an email with what you found so that I can add it in the article which will help others.
ProTip: Do Not Use the Word Oxygen In The Description
You’ll be required to describe the contents of the package. DO NOT write Oxygen Concentrator. DO NOT use the word oxygen as it will be a red flag as a hazardous material. Instead describe it as an O2 Concentrator.
Less Expensive Option To Ship To India
You can use Parcel Monkey to ship the concentrator. They are a marketplace website for shipping. That means they don’t actually do the shipping – they partner with FedEx, UPS and DHL but their website is much easier to use and their rates are less than half of what you’d pay if you shipped directly through FedEx, UPS, DHL. On Parcel Monkey I got quotes for approximately $380 USD for International Priority 1-3 day delivery via FedEx. Whereas when I went to the FedEx website the quote was approximately $1000 USD.
I did not use Parcel Monkey to ship my concentrator. I used FedEx. As such, below, I have described as much of the shipping process with Parcel Monkey as I could.
The Parcel Monkey website is nice because they show you the various options for shipping whether it’s FedEx, UPS, or DHL and you can select what works best for you. And their website is much more user-friendly compared to FedEx, UPS, DHL’s websites.
Parcel Monkey Shipping Forms Tips
Go to the Parcel Monkey website and follow the prompts. Enter your country and the recipient’s country and the weight of the item. Protip: Look at the paperwork from the company from whom you bought the oxygen concentrator, carefully. There will probably be two items listed for weight: product weight and shipping weight. Make sure you use the shipping weight.
The website will show you several shipping options with pricing and details such as:
- delivery time
- whether it’s for pick up or drop off
Select an option that you like.
Add the dimensions of the shipment. The company you purchased from will give you this. If the dimensions are fractions, i.e. 16 3/8 then round up.
Do Not Use the Word Oxygen To Describe the Item
SUPER IMPORTANT ProTip. Next you’ll see a text box called, “Contents” where you’ll need to type a description of the shipment. DO NOT write Oxygen Concentrator. Describe it as an O2 Concentrator. DO NOT use the word oxygen as it will be a red flag as a hazardous material. Please note that a few steps later in the form, there will be another field called “Description”, where you’ll need to…write a description. Again, in that field write O2 Concentrator, DO NOT use the word oxygen.
In the “Item Value” field your item will be rejected if the amount is $1000 USD or above.
Once you’ve selected the shipping option, just follow the prompts to enter the sender’s info, the recipient’s info and other data.
ProTip Phone Numbers: You MUST provide a phone number and email address for both the sender and recipient.
ProTip Business vs. Residential Address: The form will ask you whether your address is a business or residence and the same about the recipient.
ProTip Enter Addresses Manually: when you’re entering your sender address as well as the recipient’s address, there is a form field that starts auto-populating addresses. You don’t have to use that. There’s a small “Add address manually” button. You can click on that to enter the address.
Classify the Oxygen Concentrator as a Gift
SUPER IMPORTANT ProTip. When you’re filling out the form on Parcel Monkey, it will ask you to classify the export. Select GIFT.
Paying For the Shipment And Print Documents
Keep following the prompts. Eventually you’ll get to a payment page. Once you pay the fee by credit card, they will email you the shipping label as well as Customs documents. The shipping label was one page and the Customs document was also just one page – super simple and straightforward.
You need to sign and date the Customs document.
Take The Oxygen Concentrator to the Shipper
I recommend that you take the oxygen concentrator to the shipper’s location vs. scheduling a pickup. There may be additional paperwork that you need to complete and the representative will be able to help you. Don’t forget to take the shipping label and Customs documents that you printed with you.
What Happens When The Concentrator Arrives In India?
When the concentrator arrives in India, FedEx acts as the Customs agent. Indian Customs will assess the value of the shipment and ask for 12% GST on the value assessed. FedEx will either charge your account, if you selected to pay for GST at the time of shipping.
FedEx has a process called Know Your Customer (KYC). This process I’m describing below is for shipping to an individual, not a business. FedEx will contact the recipient (your relative) and ask them to complete the Know Your Customer Form. That will require them to verify their identity using a government issued ID such as their Aadhaar Card or PAN card with proof of address. Make sure the name on the KYC form matches the name on the Airbill and the Commercial Invoice Form.
In addition to the KYC Form, the individual consignee (your relative) will need to send a declaration stating that the shipment clearance is to be completed on the Aadhaar or PAN of the individual. This is all done online – your relative does not need to go anywhere.
When they deliver the item to the final destination, will require payment of GST on delivery. If the consignee (the recipient) refuses to pay, they might not deliver the item and/or they may charge the sender – you.
I will update this section as my concentrator goes through the process.
What About Electrical Power Conversion?
Your relatives will need two things to be able to run the machine:
- a converter to convert the power from 120VAC to 230VAC
- an adapter to fit into Indian electrical outlets
Converter vs. Transformer. First of all, the technical term for a converter is a transformer. So don’t get confused if you see it referred to a transformer in some places and a converter in others. They’re the same thing.
Buy a Converter in/from India. Do not send from USA. It’s recommended that your relatives buy the converter in/from India. I know you want to make this as seamless as possible for them, but sending converters from the US is tricky and/or not even allowed. Converters can be purchased on Amazon India for anywhere from $30-$100 USD. When you get to the website, do a search for power converters
Which Converter to Buy? When your relatives are buying a converter, you can guide them with the info below. Consider the power requirement of your oxygen concentrator. Power is defined in watts (or kilowatts). This info should be in the specification documents you received from the vendor that you bought it from. Buy a converter with at last 20% more capacity than your oxygen concentrator. This is called a step up converter/transformer because you’re stepping up from 110v to 220v -240v.
If the machine voltage is 110v/60hz then you need a converter that will convert to 220-240v/50hz. The reason it’s 220-240v for India is because it fluctuates whereas in the US it’s remains pretty steady at 110v. continuously.
Don’t Go Bananas With Power. Most electrical outlets are designed to handle up to 1500w. If you buy a converter with capacity of say, 2000w you might be putting yourself in a tough situation as it might not work in regular home outlets. You might have to call in an electrician. I’m assuming, that right now time is of the essence and you’re looking to be able plug-in and use right away. So buy a converter that has about 20% more capacity than your oxygen concentrator.
Converters and Adapters are Two Different Things. A converter transforms the power. An adapter lets you plug in US machines (and other world machines) into Indian electrical outlets.
Send An Adapter. They will also need an electrical outlet adapter to be able to plug the machine into their electrical outlets. That, you can send them. Here’s a highly rated world travel adapter on Amazon for approximately $21 USD.
ProTip: If you are sending an adapter, make sure you factor that into the overall weight of the package that you are shipping and add that to the Commercial Invoice/shipping documents.
Oxygen Concentrator Accessories and Maintenance
I can only speak for the high quality machines like EverFlo, Invacre and Inogen. My understanding is that you do not need any additional equipment or accessories such as filters. These machines are good to go and will run for approximately a year (varies based on use) before any sort of maintenance would be required.
Why Not Get a Concentrator In India?
Well one, not sure if you’re following the news but there’s a major shortage. And even though international aid is flowing into the country – they need more help.
Secondly, my relatives tried for days to find one. And they did find one…but the oxygen concentration was only 35% – that’s not useful. Unfortunately there are bad actors that are preying on desperate people with poor quality, fake or damaged equipment. As a result many people have lost faith in the quality of the items available in India — if they even find something available.
You do not need a separate frequency converter.
Why an Oxygen Concentrator vs. an Oxygen Cylinder?
These two things are not really comparable. They have different use cases. Oxygen concentrators are meant for patients with mild to moderate needs. And they’re actually intended for home use. For someone to get to the point of needing hospitalization it means that their oxygen needs are more than what an oxygen concentrator can supply. They need an oxygen cylinder or a ventilator.
But since oxygen concentrators are in short supply and suddenly everyone needed one, where do you go when you need help breathing? The hospital. But the hospitals don’t have them or not enough. Hospitals are equipped for more severe patients who require oxygen cylinders or ventilators.
How oxygen concentrators work. Oxygen concentrators take ambient air and increase the oxygen concentration by filtering out nitrogen. Thus, they don’t have the work of oxygen cylinders which have to be filled and refilled periodically (some every 8-10 hours) depending on the size of the cylinder. Refilling every 8-10 hours is a lot of work and very difficult in India where the supply has been low in the wake of the COVID crisis.
The potential downside of oxygen concentrators are that they require constant electricity whereas cylinders do not require any.
I Hope This Is Helpful!
I hope that this information has been helpful and that your loved ones will be healthy and safe. I am praying for you.
Have More Questions?
Sorry but I am unable to respond to questions that were addressed in the article. Any other questions, please feel free and I’ll do my best to help. Praying for you and your loved ones.