The Coronavirus pandemic has been causing havoc all over the world. There is a huge demand for life-saving medicines, ICU beds and hospital beds, ventilators, and Oxygen for saving the lives of Covid-affected patients. Arranging these basic amenities is tough in the present situation. This is simply because the supply of these things is less than the demand. Due to the low availability of Oxygen, people are facing much crisis. Oxygen concentrators have become very useful in these trying times. Patients who have mild symptoms and are recovering in home isolation can use these concentrators for getting Oxygen. In a way, these Oxygen concentrators have become the life saviors in these grave times.
How does an oxygen concentrator help Covid 19 patients?
Oxygen concentrator- what is it?
Many of us know about Oxygen concentrators while some of us might have heard the name for the first time. It is very essential to know about this medical device in the present situation. This device is slightly bigger than the average monitor of the computer. The Oxygen concentrators help in concentrating the Oxygen from the surrounding air. The patient then gets this Oxygen and is relieved from the breathing troubles. It is due to this reason that the windows and doors of the room must be kept open where the Oxygen concentrator is kept. That helps the machine to get air and continue with its job properly.
How does the Oxygen concentrator work?
The air consists of 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and 1 percent of other gases. The role of the Oxygen concentrator is to take the air, filter the polluted air and then release the nitrogen back into the atmosphere. The Oxygen that is filtered is supplied to the patient with the help of a cannula. The Oxygen Concentrators help in the production of 90 to 95 percent of pure Oxygen. The Oxygen Concentrators can work 24 hours a day. It can last for five years.
When does an individual require Oxygen concentrators?
It is very important for people now to know when to use Oxygen concentrators. This knowledge will help them to easily save the lives of their near and dear ones. When the Oxygen saturation level falls below 94 percent, people should start using Oxygen concentrators. The Oxygen saturation level that is considered ideal is between 94 to 100 percent. One must however keep in mind that the Oxygen concentrators will not be of much help for the patients whose Oxygen saturation level falls below 90 percent. However, they can be of good help for those patients whose Oxygen saturation is below 85 percent. The patients whose Oxygen level goes below this point will require a good flow of Oxygen. That cannot be offered by the Oxygen concentrators.
Oxygen Concentrators- How good are they?
Medical experts state that Oxygen concentrators are not a good option when compared to Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO). Liquid Medical Oxygen contains 99 percent pure Oxygen and is an ideal option for patients suffering from mild or moderate Covid-19. However, these patients have Oxygen saturation levels at 90 percent and above. Experts feel that these are not ideal for the patients in the ICU.
Types of Oxygen concentrators
Oxygen concentrators can be divided into two categories. The first is the one with the continuous flow and the second is the pulse dose. The continuous flow Oxygen concentrators as their name imply supplies Oxygen in the same flow unless it is turned off. The pulse dose Oxygen concentrators examine the breathing pattern of the individual and then release the Oxygen as per the needs of the patient. In this concentrator, the per-minute Oxygen released will vary.
Oxygen Concentrators- how different are they from LMO and Oxygen cylinders?
The LMO and Oxygen cylinders are sturdy and tough and hence are very difficult to be transported from one place to the other. The Oxygen Cylinders have to be refilled after it is exhausted. However, if you use Oxygen concentrators, they can produce Oxygen for five years or even more. The Oxygen concentrators simply need a power source and surrounding air for producing Oxygen. There is no refilling cost that you need to incur.
Oxygen concentrators can deliver 5 to 10 liters of oxygen per minute. This might be all right for mild to moderately affected Covid-19 patients. However, the critical patients need 40 to 45 liters of oxygen per minute and for them, Oxygen concentrators will not be as helpful.
What is the price of the Oxygen concentrators?
The price of the Oxygen concentrators is directly dependent on the amount of Oxygen that the machine produces per minute. The cost ranges from Rs 40000 to Rs 90000.
Things to check before purchasing or renting Oxygen concentrators
Once you have decided to buy or rent an Oxygen concentrator, check for these factors beforehand.
- One must first check the rate at which Oxygen travels from the concentrator to the machine. This is the flow rate capability of the machine.
- The next thing to check is the amount of power that the Oxygen concentrator consumes. Different Oxygen concentrators need different amounts of power. The concentrators that require low power will not provide the same flow as the ones that need high power. Opt for an Oxygen concentrator that can work on consumer-grade batteries. This is helpful as they will be able to work even when there is no power.
- The third thing to check is the level of Oxygen concentration that the machine can provide. The Oxygen concentrators in general have a concentration value of 87 to 99 percent. However, this number will differ from one model to the other.
- The quality of Oxygen that the concentrators produce is dependent on the number of filters or sieves in the concentrator. Hence, check how many filters the concentrator has before purchasing or renting it.
The Oxygen concentrators are a big help for the people during this global pandemic. They can make use of this medical device and provide sufficient Oxygen to a patient in need. This will help to save lives.
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