If you or someone you know needs oxygen, using an oxygen concentrator is the safest and most efficient choice. An oxygen concentrator collects oxygen and nitrogen from the surrounding air and quickly filters the air it provides to the patient through a nasal cannula or oxygen mask. It is said that oxygen concentrators can produce up to 95 per cent of pure oxygen for patients.
With the increased demand, there is a lot of confusion about oxygen concentrators. Most people in need are unaware of their rights, while fraudsters try to take advantage of the situation by overcharging for concentrators. So, if you want to buy one, here are tips to keep in mind.
1. Flow Rate
One of the essential factors, the flow rate capability, refers to how quickly oxygen is delivered to the patient. It is measured in litres per minute (LPM). The oxygen flow rate is usually 3, 5, 8, or 10 LPM, while specific devices may also produce oxygen at more than 10 LPM.
Ensure the equipment you buy has a working flow meter that you can adjust. This allows the oxygen concentrator flow rate to be adjusted to the user’s specific needs. For example, a stable patient who requires constant oxygen levels can use a device with a low output. Patients with severe respiratory distress or who are in the hospital, on the other hand, need devices with higher outputs.
It’s important to remember that the oxygen concentrator’s capacity must be greater than your requirement. If you need a 5 LPM device, choose one with an output of 8 LPM. This is useful in unforeseen circumstances.
2. Power Consumption
An oxygen concentrator’s wattage is determined by its size and the settings that you use. If you want a stationary oxygen concentrator, It will not run on batteries. It is recommended for people who need higher oxygen levels and is, therefore, more extensive and heavier. Studying the amps and volts parameters on the product box can help you predict how much your electricity cost can increase.
If your oxygen concentrator requirement is lower and stable, you might choose a concentrator that runs on batteries. They are also lighter and more portable. These concentrators have a battery backup.
If you have a busy lifestyle that needs to be out of home for longer periods, a portable oxygen concentrator will be the best option for you.
Because they have come with batteries and also a plug-in option, you can use this concentrator while out for meetings or even while driving once the batteries have been charged. They allow you to participate in social activities and have a good quality of life.
The main advantage of these portable oxygen concentrators is that they are compact, lightweight, and discreet. This makes them the perfect tool for patients who do not require high oxygen flow rate.
4. Oxygen Concentrator
An oxygen concentrator is used when you need supplemental oxygen due to the low oxygen level in your blood. Self-diagnosis is not recommended; instead, one should consult a certified medical professional.
The medical professional will monitor your blood oxygen levels, possibly using a device known as the Pulse Oximeter.
If your SpO2, or Oxygen Saturation, is less than 95%, they may advise you to take supplementary oxygen. The doctor will also tell you how often and for how long you should use supplemental oxygen.
The Major chunk of oxygen concentrators have a concentration value of 87 to 99 per cent; however, these values can vary from the concentrator to concentrator. Moreover, higher-powered products designed for patients who require a high oxygen flow rate can also deliver higher oxygen concentrations, whereas lightweight, portable oxygen concentrators for on-the-go patients do generally not require the highest oxygen concentration.
5. Noise Level
The next point we all tend to overlook, the noise level of your oxygen concentrator is an important consideration. Oxygen concentrators generate a wide range of noise levels due to their various constructions, layouts, and power levels.
Some portable concentrators are incredibly quiet and unobtrusive. Other products, such as high-powered, high-flow-rate devices, can be a little noisier while in use since they require more power and have a higher rate of oxygen flowing out of them.
An oxygen concentrator has the potential to save your life; you must choose the one according to your specific needs. But the first thing is an oxygen concentrator can be used only after a doctor’s prescription.
While above these are the most important tips to consider, others can help you select the best oxygen concentrator for yourself. These factors include whether the brand has received the necessary approvals, warranty, convenience of use, and ease of maintenance in case some of its parts wear out. By following these important tips to keep in mind, whether you use a portable oxygen concentrator or a stationary one, you can be assured of receiving an optimum oxygen supply every time you need it.
Vasith Faisal is the Medical Equipment Expert at Abonemed LLC. With a background in Computer Science Engineering and a wealth of experience in the healthcare industry, Vasith is well-versed in the latest technologies and trends in medical equipment. He has a proven track record of driving successful initiatives that drive growth and engagement, and is known for his innovative, data-driven approach and his ability to lead high-performing teams. Whether you’re looking for advice on the best products for your healthcare facility or you need support with maintenance and repairs, Vasith is here to help.