What is an Oxygen Concentrator? Why are they in demand, and how are they different from cylinders?

medical-oxygen-cylinder

As COVID-19 cases are on the rise, the need for Oxygen Cylinders for COVID-Positive patients are increasing whereas the hospitals are falling short of supplies. In such situation, Oxygen Concentrators can be the best alternatives towards the Oxygen Cylinders.

What is an Oxygen Concentrator?

An oxygen concentrator is a device that concentrates the oxygen from a gas supply (typically ambient air) by selectively removing nitrogen to supply an oxygen-enriched product gas stream.

As we know, atmospheric air has about 78% Nitrogen and 21% Oxygen, remaining 1% other gases like CO2,Methane, etc. The oxygen concentrator takes in atmospheric air, filters it through a sieve, releases the nitrogen back into the air, and works on the remaining oxygen. The obtained Oxygen, compressed and dispensed through a cannula, is around 90-95% pure.

At 90-95 % purity, is the oxygen from concentrators pure enough?

  • While it is not as pure as LMO (99%), experts say it is good enough for mild and moderate Covid-19 patients with oxygen saturation levels of 85% or above. It is, however, not advisable for ICU patients.

Oxygen Concentrators are portable and unlike LMO that needs to be stored and transported in cryogenic tankers, need no special temperature. Concentrators only need a power source to draw in ambient air and therefore don’t require the long-term maintenance costs that tanks do. It’s a one-time investment.

Concentrators are also available in multiple styles, offering larger models for use at home or in the hospital as well as more compact models perfect for travelling and moving out and about.

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