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Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been hearing about how oxygen concentrators have saved thousands of people from COVID-related acute respiratory distress.

Not a new invention, oxygen concentrators have been used since decades to supply supplemental oxygen to people suffering from heart failure, sleep apnea, asthma, COPD, and other diseases that cause compromised lung functioning. 

so what is an oxygen concentrator?

This is a medical device that takes in the ambient air and separates the oxygen from the nitrogen and supplies it to the user through a nasal cannula. This helps ease the burden on the lungs allowing the user to breathe easily. 

which parts make up an oxygen concentrator? 

An oxygen concentrator has various components that work in tandem to supply oxygen to the user and include:

Nasal cannulas

Also known as a nasal oxygen tube, a nasal cannula delivers oxygen to the person who needs assistance in breathing. This is a thin plastic tube that has two prongs, which are placed in the user’s nostrils. It is fitted behind the user’s ears and is connected to the concentrator through a flowmeter. The capacity of the nasal tube ranges between 1-5 litres of oxygen per minute. 

Power cords

When not run on batteries, an oxygen concentrator uses power to function. Depending on the severity of your condition, at times you may need an oxygen supply for a longer time. In this case, connecting it to an AC power source works better than running it on batteries. 

Humidifier bottles

Some people may get dry or itchy throat after receiving oxygen therapy. A humidifier bottle humidifies the oxygen that is being supplied to the user to make the breathing treatment comfortable. Most of the bigger concentrators that are used to supply higher volumes of oxygen have an in-built humidifier. 

Tubing connector 

There are times when you may want to change the length of your oxygen tubing. For instance, a bed-ridden person will require a longer tube to help him breathe using an oxygen concentrator. A tubing connector helps you to join two pieces of tubes together to increase their length without letting them crack.  

frequently asked questions: oxygen concentrator

How to use an oxygen concentrator? 

Here are our expert’s tips on how to set up and use the oxygen concentrator:

  1. Get all the components together and assemble them.
  2. Place the concentrator at least 2 feet away from any wall or furniture. 
  3. In case you are using it, fit the humidifier bottle and fit its cap.
  4. Attach the oxygen tubes.
  5. Set the flow per minute.
  6. Place the mask or the nasal cannula on your face.
  7. Breathe in for the required period and remove the mask/cannula.
  8. Switch off the concentrator.

How to choose the best oxygen concentrator?

A concentrator cannot be bought without a doctor’s prescription. Once you have that, here are some pro-tips to help you choose the best oxygen concentrator:

  1. Pick up a concentrator with a higher flow rate than your requirement. 
  2. In case you need a constant supply of oxygen for longer periods, opt for a high-powered device with higher oxygen concentration. If your requirement is sporadic and low, you can choose a smaller portable device. 
  3. The noise levels generated from a concentrator depend on its power and size. The larger the device, the noisier it will be.

Oxygen concentrators are invaluable when it comes to respiratory problems. Getting to know how your breathing device works and choosing it is not difficult when you keep these tips in mind.  

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Ms. R Poornima

VOC: “Thank you very much, you have given great help. I don’t know how to express myself in words, you have saved my sister’s life. We used the Oxygen Concentrate for 15 da....

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