What are Oxygen Concentrators?

By [email protected] | January 15, 2021

Thanks to the field of medicine’s great advancements, the oxygen concentrators today are compact, small, quiet and lightweight, but still provide the utmost compliance and high performance. Older oxygen concentrators are bulky and heavy, making it difficult for patients requiring oxygen therapy while traveling or outside their home.

Today, you can choose from at home stationary concentrators and portable oxygen concentrators (POCs), which can go wherever you go easily.

What is an Oxygen Concentrator?
An oxygen concentrator is a type of medical device used for delivering oxygen to individuals with breathing-related disorders. Individuals whose oxygen concentration in their blood is lower than normal often require an oxygen concentrator to replace that oxygen.

With Covid-19 affecting breathing, people have found Oxygen Concentrators to be useful in achieving oxygen therapy to reduce oxygen intake deterioration, it is still recommended to take advice from a medical doctor in most instances.

Doctors will also typically show the patients how to effectively use these concentrators while traveling and in their home.

Oxygen concentrators filter surrounding air, compressing it to the required density and then delivering purified medical grade oxygen into a pulse-dose delivery system or continuous stream system to the patient.

It’s also equipped with special filters and sieve beds which help remove Nitrogen from the air to ensure delivery of completely purified oxygen to the patient. These devices also come with an electronic user interface so you can adjust the levels of oxygen concentration and delivery settings. You then inhale the oxygen through the nasal cannula or special mask.

You generally measure the oxygen concentrator output in LPM (litres per minute). Your doctor will determine what level of oxygen you need, which may vary at rest, during sleep, and when you exercise.

What are the Uses and Reasons for an Oxygen Concentrator?
There are many reasons for an oxygen concentrator and doctors can recommend oxygen therapy to their patients for various medical conditions. Typically, your lungs absorb the air’s oxygen, transferring it into your bloodstream.

If you’ve had bloodwork or pulse oximetry (read about Pulse Oximeters here) recently performed to assess your oxygen saturation levels, and you were found to have low levels of blood oxygen, your doctor may recommend short-term or long-term oxygen therapy.

You’re probably wondering what is an oxygen concentrator used for? Acute conditions usually require short-term oxygen therapy. These conditions normally run for a short period of time. They may have a sudden onset of symptoms versus chronic conditions where things occur gradually. However, some acute respiratory conditions such as Covid-19 or chronic conditions require long-term oxygen supplementation.

How Does an Oxygen Concentrator Work?
Think of an oxygen concentrator as a window air conditioner — it takes air in, changes it and delivers it in a different form. The oxygen concentrator takes air in and purifies it for use by individuals who require medical oxygen because of low levels of oxygen in their blood.
It works by:

  • Compressing air as the cooling mechanism keeps the concentrator from becoming overheated
  • Taking air in from its surroundings
  • Using an electronic interface to adjust delivery settings
  • Removing nitrogen from the air through sieve beds and a filter
  • Delivering purified oxygen through a mask or nasal cannula
  • Patients who required oxygen therapy in the past mainly relied on pressurized oxygen tanks. Even though these tanks are extremely effective, they’re also fairly inefficient with the suppliers having to visit the patients regularly to replenish their oxygen supply in their tank.

Maintenance

An oxygen concentrator is a sophisticated piece of machinery, and like all other machines, it will need to be serviced regularly. Luckily, major maintenance outside of cleaning and changing of filters doesn’t need to be done very often. Many modern oxygen concentrators are for the most part, low maintenance.

Takeaway
Here are some oxygen concentrators available to you from us:

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