During the pandemic, oxygen concentrators have garnered attention as life-saving devices. These medical tools provide long-term oxygen therapy for individuals unable to breathe independently. Unlike oxygen cylinders with stored gas or liquid oxygen, concentrators utilise ambient air to produce and supply oxygen.
They offer a reliable source of oxygen and are suitable for both hospital and home use, aiding people in breathing more effectively. As a convenient alternative to traditional oxygen delivery systems, oxygen concentrators are crucial in supporting patients with respiratory challenges during these challenging times.
There are two main types of oxygen concentrators: continuous flow concentrators and pulse dose concentrators.
Oxygen concentrators have proven invaluable during multiple COVID-19 waves. This respiratory disease affects the lungs’ linings, causing thickening of their walls, oedema, and reduced oxygen diffusion capacity. High-flow oxygen therapy through an oxygen concentrator becomes crucial in such cases.
Surprisingly, oxygen concentrator machines are not a recent invention; they have existed since the 1970s and have been employed to treat various conditions, including asthma, COPD, pulmonary oedema, heart failure, sleep apnea, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis, chronic hypoxemia, and more. Their long-standing use highlights their effectiveness in managing respiratory ailments and supporting patients’ oxygen needs.
Oxygen concentrators are beneficial in the following scenarios:
An oxygen concentrator is a vital device that provides oxygen to individuals with low blood oxygen levels. But how does it function?
The ambient air, which contains 79% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, is processed by the oxygen concentrator’s filter, delivering air with up to 95% oxygen.
The device’s compressor compresses the air, directing it to the sieve bed filters made of Zeolite. These filters extract nitrogen from the air, converting it into oxygen. The concentrator has a cooling system to prevent overheating and a nasal cannula to supply oxygen to the user. Additionally, it adjusts the oxygen delivery pressure to suit the patient’s needs.
Selecting the appropriate oxygen concentrator is crucial, as it can be life-saving. However, it is essential to note that the device should be used only with a doctor’s prescription. Your healthcare provider will determine the best fit based on your oxygen requirements, overall health, financial circumstances, and other essential factors.
Before investing in an oxygen concentrator, consider the following essential aspects to ensure it meets your specific needs:
The flow rate capability is a crucial factor in oxygen concentrators, as it determines the rate at which oxygen is supplied to the patient, measured in litres per minute (LPM). Typically, oxygen flow rates range from 3 to 10 LPM, and some devices can produce more than 10 LPM.
Ensure that the device you choose has a working adjustable flow meter to customise the oxygen delivery to the user’s specific needs. Patients with stable oxygen requirements may opt for lower-output devices, while those with severe respiratory distress or hospitalisation may need higher outputs.
Selecting an oxygen concentrator with a capacity higher than your requirement is essential to be prepared for unexpected situations. For instance, if you need 5 LPM, opt for a device with an 8 LPM output.
The power consumption of an oxygen concentrator depends on its size and settings. Stationary oxygen concentrators, suitable for those requiring higher oxygen levels, are larger and heavier and do not run on batteries. Check the product packaging for specifications on amps and volts to estimate the impact on your electricity bill.
For lower and stable oxygen requirements, consider concentrators operated on batteries. These are lighter, portable, and come with battery backup to ensure your safety during times of need. Choose the appropriate type of oxygen concentrator based on your specific oxygen needs and portability preferences.
A portable oxygen concentrator is ideal for individuals with an active lifestyle who are often away from home. These concentrators come with batteries and a plug-in option, providing freedom and flexibility to use during meetings or driving. They are compact, lightweight, and discreet, allowing you to participate in social events and maintain a good quality of life.
The Philips Simplygo Mini Oxygen Concentrator is recommended for its portability features.
Consider a non-portable oxygen concentrator with a higher capacity if your oxygen requirements are higher. While they may be larger, heavier, and more expensive, they ensure your oxygen needs are met without compromise.
Oxygen concentrators filter and deliver oxygenated air to the user, providing a specific percentage of oxygen known as oxygen concentration. The concentration capacity varies based on each concentrator model’s design, quality, and number of filtration systems.
Typically, oxygen concentration levels range from 87-99 per cent, similar to oxygen cylinders. Patients with chronic respiratory issues require higher oxygen concentrations for breathing and should choose high-powered options capable of supplying elevated oxygen levels.
For those not requiring high oxygen concentrations, portable and lightweight oxygen concentrators are suitable. The Everflow Oxygen Concentrator is one of the best options with optimum oxygen concentration.
Considering the noise level of your oxygen concentrator is crucial, even though it’s often overlooked. With technological advancements, modern concentrators typically produce sound levels ranging from 30-60 decibels, making them relatively quiet.
The noise level of an oxygen concentrator depends on factors like power capacity, size, and weight. Devices with higher power and flow rates tend to generate more noise, while smaller, portable concentrators with lower power and flow rates are quieter and generate less heat.
When selecting the best oxygen concentrator for your needs, consider vital factors such as brand approvals, warranty, ease of operation, and maintenance accessibility for parts replacement. In addition to these factors, it is essential to use the concentrator safely. Keep it out of reach of children, never use it near an open flame, and clean it regularly.
By adhering to these expert guidelines, whether you opt for a portable or stationary oxygen concentrator, you can trust in receiving a reliable and consistent oxygen supply whenever required.
At Portea, we prioritise your well-being and offer a range of reliable oxygen concentrators for rent or purchase, empowering you to lead a healthier and more comfortable life with enhanced respiratory support.
Consider your oxygen needs and condition severity when choosing between a 5-litre and a 10-litre oxygen concentrator. The 5L concentrator is suitable for mild symptoms and basic requirements. Still, we recommend opting for the 10L concentrator for better efficiency, as it provides a higher flow rate of oxygen per minute, ensuring ample supply for patients with more significant oxygen needs.
Prioritising your health and well-being, Portea offers a range of oxygen concentrators for rent or purchase, including options with varying capacities to effectively cater to your specific requirements.
Oxygen concentrators are designed to run continuously and provide oxygen 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are built to be durable and can operate for extended periods, sometimes up to five years or more, with proper maintenance and minimal repair. This makes them a reliable and efficient oxygen source for patients requiring continuous oxygen therapy.
Yes, it is safe to sleep with a portable oxygen concentrator. Many people who require oxygen therapy use portable oxygen concentrators while sleeping and have experienced several significant benefits for their health and well-being.
Portable oxygen concentrators are designed to be used during sleep and provide a continuous and reliable source of oxygen, which is crucial for individuals with respiratory conditions or low oxygen levels. Using an oxygen concentrator while sleeping helps ensure the user receives an adequate oxygen supply throughout the night, promoting better sleep and overall health.
Oxygen concentrators are generally safe, but they can cause some side effects. Common side effects include a dry or bloody nose, tiredness, and morning headaches. It is essential to follow proper guidelines and use the oxygen concentrator as a healthcare professional prescribes. Moreover, oxygen supports combustion, so smoking or using flammable materials near an oxygen concentrator should be strictly avoided to prevent fire risks. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to ensure the safe and effective use of an oxygen concentrator and address any concerns or side effects.
Oxygen concentrators can help improve lung function in individuals with various respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), severe long-term asthma, and cystic fibrosis. These devices deliver oxygen to the lungs, alleviating symptoms, improving breathing, and enhancing overall well-being for those with respiratory issues.
It is essential to use oxygen concentrators under medical supervision and as prescribed by healthcare professionals to ensure proper management of the respiratory condition.
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