The deadly second wave of a covid-19 pandemic is another challenge for the Indian medical system. Oxygen concentrators are on everyone’s mind in India. No one ever had imagined one day we will need to strive for the necessities like oxygen gas. As of this time, covid-19 cases are rising exponentially across the country. The situation is so drastic that people are dying out of a shortage of oxygen gas supply.
At a critical-times like this, when covid-19 cases are emerging daily in massive quantity, Valuemantraa talked with the experts about oxygen concentrators. We discussed every question that is going on in the mind of every Indian. Here, in this article, we compiled every little detail and the fact about oxygen concentrators.
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What is an Oxygen Concentrator?
Oxygen Concentrator is a device that takes in air and separates the oxygen from it and provides it to the patient via nasal cannula. Generally, air comprises nitrogen (79%) and oxygen (21%-22%). So, the main function of the oxygen concentrator is to separate oxygen from this air and provide more content of the oxygen to the patient. This oxygen is pure and meets the need of the patient.
How does Oxygen Concentrator work?
5 main processes under oxygen concentrator:
1. Inhalation of the normal air from the room.
2. Compression of the air
3. Removal of oxygen from the air.
4. Delivers the purified air i.e. oxygenated air.
The oxygen concentrator works on the electricity supply.
The oxygen concentrator contains several parts such as motor, compressor, heat exchanger, surge tank, product tank, sieve beds, tubes, and pressure regulator.
Among these compressors and sieve beds are the main functioning parts.
The compressor compresses the air that is purified in the concentrator. The same air is then circulated further through the sieve bed filters. Sieve bed consists of the material named Zeolite- responsible for removing nitrogen. Sieve bed filters remove the nitrogen from the compressed air.
The concentrator consists of two sieve beds. The compressed air is sent to the first sieve bed first. Their purification takes place and pure oxygenated air is sent to the product tank. From the product tank oxygen is provided to the patient via nasal cannula.
In the background, the flow of gas is switched and the incoming air goes into another sieve bed. The same process takes place in the second compressor. Then some oxygen from the product tank comes back in the sieve beds mix with nitrogen and then the mixture is sent back to the room as normal air. This entire process goes on continuously.
The cooling system of the oxygen concentrator is also the main part of it. It prevents the concentrator from overheating.
What are the two kinds of oxygen concentrators?
Oxygen concentrators are classified based on their usage. Yes, portable units and stationary units are the two kinds of oxygen concentrators.
As per the name, it can be carried wherever you go. It does not need an electricity plug. The portable unit is not much useful for covid-19 patients. The oxygen flow of portable machines is pulse-wise. It is not effective for chronic lung diseases as oxygen concentration is about 80%-85% only. It is mostly used by trackers or patients with minor diseases. One big advantage of the portable machine is it can work fine up to the altitude of 10,000 feet.
The stationary unit is playing a very important role in treating covid-19 patients. The stationary unit is more productive and effective in terms of oxygen supply. A stationary oxygen concentrator supplies continuous oxygen supply at the rate of 10 LPM. Additionally, the oxygen concentration is about 90%-95% in it. Outlet pressure is also high so that oxygen supply is rich. The stationary machine works well only up to an altitude of 1000 feet.
It needs an electricity plug to work and it is preferred over a portable one.
When does an oxygen concentrator need?
Generally, for people with respiratory issues or when the oxygen level of the body goes below 94% then oxygen concentrator plays its role. You can check oxygen level in the body with the help of pulse oximeter.
Usually, people used to hospitalize when such an issue occurred but now unavailability of beds is the burning issue during a covid-19 pandemic.
So, to avoid further complications this device is playing important role in avoiding social gatherings. Yet, you can’t rely on oxygen concentrators when the oxygen level is below 94%-95%. Be conscious of the oxygen level of the patient.
Oxygen concentrator home
As per the opinion of doctors and experts, you need to take care of certain things when using oxygen concentrators in the homes:
1. Keep rooms ventilated
If you remember, oxygen concentrators sent air back to the room. So, it is a must to keep the machine in well-ventilated rooms for the continuous flow of fresh air.
2. Keep an eye on indicators
Oxygen concentrators can’t help if the oxygen level of the patient goes below 93%. You need to go to the hospital if it goes below 93%.
Hydration is another key factor after ventilation while using a concentrator at home. Don’t forget to keep the patient hydrated as much as possible for moderate oxygen levels.
4. Supplement with Proning
Sometimes, reaching the hospital immediately is not possible. So, while practicing pruning you can use an oxygen concentrator to maintain oxygen level.
5. Be in touch with experts
Even if you have inserted an oxygen concentrator in the hospital, you may need expert help. We are not experts so, we can’t diagnose. Don’t ignore the signs and be in touch with experts.
What is the Maintenance, Costs, and Expenditure of Oxygen Concentrators:
Oxygen concentrators need to be maintained for durability. It includes changing or cleaning the filters every two weeks, replacing candle-like sticks when the effectiveness of the concentrator lowers down.
Costs of oxygen concentrators depend upon their functioning. The price of oxygen concentrators differs from LPM (Litre per minute). Usually, the demand is more for 3LPM and 5LPM concentrators. Yet, 8LPM and 10 LPM concentrators are available in the market.
|3LPM-5LPM||50,000 – 80,000|
|8LPM-10LPM||1.0 lakhs to 1.5 lakhs|
If you are looking for the best and under budget oxygen concentrators here are our suggested oxygen concentrators:
Can we rent oxygen concentrators?
Yes. You can rent oxygen concentrators. The expenditure for the same depends upon the type of oxygen concentrator and the period of rent.
During the covid-19 pandemic rent rate is has gone high. For now, the rate is 15,000-20,000 weekly in India.
- An oxygen concentrator is playing an important role during a covid-19 pandemic.
- The stationary concentrator is more effective than portable ones.
- An oxygen concentrator can be used only if the oxygen level is 90%-94% not below this range.
- Well- The ventilated room is a must for the effective working of the concentrator.
- Costs and expenditure of oxygen concentrators are quite expensive.
- You can rent oxygen concentrators at an affordable price.
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