Omron Compair Elite, Compressor Nebulizer System, Model NE C21V Reviews

Omron Compair Elite, Compressor Nebulizer System, Model NE C21V

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Nebulize Me Scotty: Efficient Breathing Treatments at Near Warp Speed!

Feb 22, 2004 (Updated Apr 17, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Significantly shorter treatment time, less medicine wasted, eliminates tubing, fewer parts, compact, highly portable.

Cons:Direct vibration to mouth from handheld compressor. Occasionally “spits” condensation.

The Bottom Line: Suitable for daily breathing treatments, but is more heartily recommended for travel, office, on-the-go use. Shorter treatment time and fewer parts to maintain major pluses.


In the original Star Trek series, poor Scotty often lamented, “I’m giving it all she’s got, Captain,” eeking out the juice he needed to propel them through the final frontier at warp speed. If you or your child take long, tedious daily breathing treatments on a home nebulizer, you’ve probably longed for a “warp speed” switch once in awhile! Good news. There’s a new generation of tabletop and hand-held nebulizers that offer efficient, high output in compact and portable packages that can greatly reduce your treatment time. Before we get to the particulars on the Omron CompAir Elite NE-C21V, though, a quick disclaimer on the author’s part:

This review is intended to be a product overview only and should not be interpreted as medical advice in any way. The Omron CompAir Elite Compressor Nebulizer System NE-C21V is a home medical device and should be used under the direction of a licensed physician.

Goes Anywhere and Nebulizes in No Time
”Improve your quality of life. Experience flexibility and a new sense of freedom in your lifestyle.” To a large extent the Omron CompAir Elite NE-C21V lives up to Omron’s advertising promise. Currently it is the most compact, portable DC powered compressor nebulizer system available. Fitting neatly in the palm of your hand, the Omron CompAir Elite NE-C21V’s two major selling points are its portability and high output performance. The Omron CompAir Elite NE-C21V weighs less than 12 oz. and is small enough to fit in a shirt or jacket pocket, gym bag, or its own carry bag, of course. I am already looking forward to taking this sporty little nebulizer along on camping trips, weekend getaways, hotel trips, etc. I recently picked up my husband at the airport two hours from home. My peak flow numbers were down that day, so I gathered the Omron CompAir Elite NE-C21V up and took it with me. Slipped the carrying case (smaller than my handbag) over my shoulder, just in case I needed a breathing treatment at the restaurant before we headed home. The food at Outback Steakhouse was delicious and my symptoms settled down, but it was nice to know I had everything handy if I needed it!

Let’s face it. You have better things to do than nebulize all day and stare at ceiling tile. And your child figured out long ago that breathing treatments are not as fun and entertaining as you want him or her to believe! The Omron CompAir Elite NE-C21V’s other great selling point is the amount of time it cuts (one-third to one-half) off traditional nebulizer treatment times. A reusable jet nebulizer kit produces fast, efficient treatments with less medicine vapor waste. My own 3mL treatment, for example, takes no more than 4-5 minutes. The medicine cup holds 7mL.

Cleaning & Maintenance
Sterilization of any respiratory device is extremely important. Who wants to breathe germs and bacteria into the lungs you’re trying to keep well in the first place?! The Omron CompAir Elite NE-C21V’s jet nebulizer kit can be sterilized after each use in one of three manners. Omron suggests placing components in boiling water for no more than 5 minutes, placing in a mesh dishwasher bag, or cold sterilizing in a 50/50 white vinegar and water solution for 10 minutes. Complete sterilization instructions are included in the manual and demonstrated on the video.

Standard Features
The Basic package comes complete with everything you need:
Compressor main unit with lid
Jet nebulizer kit (lasts about 6 months)
Mouthpiece (2) pcs
Air filters (5) pcs
Carry bag (room for nebulizer, adapter, meds)
Universal AC adapter
Instruction manual (English/Spanish)
Patient Instruction Video

Options & Accessories
12 volt auto adapter plug
Rechargeable battery pack
Child’s mask & tubing

Interesting Side Note
If you shop the web for this nebulizer, you may see it referred to with either the model designation NE-C21 or NE-C21V. Confusing? Yes. A discussion with epinions health advisor, Carol Termin (see comments section below), prompted a call to Omron's customer service department to clear up the matter. Seems NE-C21 is simply the older, discontinued model and NE-C21V is the current version.

My Two Cents’ Worth
I’ll be the first to tell you that you generally get what you pay for. The Omron CompAir Elite NE-C21V is very inexpensive as nebulizers go. Omron offers a Five Year Warranty, though, and is a reputable name in home healthcare that I have past experience with. The toll-free customer service menu is fairly easy to maneuver and the reps are friendly and helpful.The Omron CompAir Elite NE-C21V Nebulizer appears durable enough for daily use, but my recommendation is that the unit is better suited as a backup nebulizer or for on-the-go and travel. Use and operation are simple and easy. Faster breathing treatments in an inexpensive, easy to use nebulizer are the best feature of all.

I only have two minor bones to pick with the Omron CompAir Elite NE-C21V: Holding the compressor in your hand transmits mild vibrations to your mouth when using the mouthpiece. This made my nose itch slightly. Wrapping a double thick strip of fleece around the compressor unit to absorb the vibration was a quick fix. You should never, however, have to modify a product straight out of the box. My second bone to pick is that the one-way flap valve often “spits” droplets of condensation when you exhale. Where they’ll land nobody knows!

Overall, I believe the Omron CompAir Elite NE-C21V Nebulizer is a worthy purchase. Users accustomed to slow, bulky tabletop nebulizers will be in for a pleasant surprise. The time difference in breathing treatments is most noticeable.

I bought the nebulizer from drugstore.com for $54.99 (purchased through BabyMint for an additional 6% rebate), received free shipping and had delivery in a matter of days. Portablenebs.com comes in second at $58.95, has a clean and professional website and offers all the replacement supplies and accessories.

©2004 Sue Broadwell

Company Info: omronhealthcare.com
Omron Healthcare, Inc
300 Lakeview Parkway
Vernon Hill, IL 60061




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