Eight Steps to Choosing a Medical Oxygen Concentrator
The medical oxygen concentrator is a life-saving invention for patients with low blood oxygen levels. These people need a oxygen concentrator in order to increase their blood oxygen levels to normal. Such patients have trouble breathing, they are easily and often exhausted, and they may experience confusion. All of these can affect the patient’s decision-making abilities.
As everyone is aware of the fact that oxygen is vital for survival, every cell of every tissue of every organ requires oxygen to function properly. Therefore, if the oxygen levels in the patient’s blood get extremely low, it can have a negative effect on the functions of cells and vital organs like the brain and the heart.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), Heart failure, Underdeveloped lungs, Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Respiratory system trauma, Covid-19 are the names of some of the diseases that can cause low blood oxygen levels. Therefore, what is a medical oxygen concentrator, and how does it help patients with low blood oxygen levels? Continue reading this article if you are curious.
What is a Medical Oxygen Concentrator?
An oxygen concentrator is a device that purifies the oxygen from a gas supply, like air. It does so by discriminating the nitrogen molecules from the air/gas supply molecules and concentrates the remaining purified oxygen-rich gas stream to the patient’s required density. oxygen concentrators are used in both hospitals and homes.
Even though they were initially big and bulky, however, due to the advancement in technology, smaller and more compact l oxygen concentrators are also available now. The advantage of a small and portable oxygen concentrator is that these can easily be carried anywhere along with the patient.
People cannot buy the oxygen concentrator just because they want to. Generally, people need to show the medical prescription for an oxygen concentrator by a doctor, to buy it. an oxygen concentrator is a safe, affordable and convenient method of supplying oxygen to the patient with low blood oxygen levels.
The oxygen concentrator consists of special filters and sieve beds that filter out the nitrogen from the gas supply. They have an electronic user interface that allows the user to adjust the settings like oxygen concentration levels and delivery settings. A nasal cannula is connected to the oxygen concentrator through which the user can inhale the purified oxygen.
Steps to choose the right Medical Oxygen Concentrator
It is crucial to buy the right oxygen concentrator, below is a small guide for choosing a medical oxygen concentrator for yourself or your loved ones.
1. Check the patient’s Oxygen saturation
As mentioned above, the medical oxygen concentrator is only used by a person if the doctor prescribes it to them. In order for a patient to have a medical oxygen concentrator prescription, their oxygen concentration is checked first. A professional will check the patient’s oxygen saturation with the help of a device called the Pulse Oximeter. If the Pulse Oximeter shows that the patient’s oxygen saturation is less than 95%, then the patient might need oxygen supplements through medical oxygen concentrator. The doctor will also state how often and for how long the patient needs the oxygen supplement through medical oxygen concentrator.
2. Required Flow Rate
Flow rate means the rate at which the concentrated oxygen travels from the machine to the patient. The doctor usually informs the flow rate of the patient. Many different types of medical oxygen concentrators are available in the market. Check and choose from them the medical oxygen concentrator with your required flow rate.
3. Stationary or Portable Medical Oxygen Concentrator?
You need to decide which type of oxygen concentrator do you want, a stationary one or a portable one. A portable oxygen concentrator comes with many benefits with only one downside, it is pretty expensive. However, there is a lot of factors to consider before you choose between the two.
If you can afford a portable medical oxygen concentrator then you should go for that option. The portable medical oxygen concentrator provides 4-6 Liters per Minute (LPM) Oxygen, if you require less than that then buy this. However, you do not need to buy the highest capacity one, you should choose according to your requirements. The portable medical oxygen concentrator will allow you to go out with them; you will never be without your oxygen supplement.
If you need more than just 4-5 LPM oxygen then go for the stationary medical oxygen concentrator (note that they also come in smaller capacity). You require this if you need to intake oxygen supplements even when you are sleeping and if you need a stable supply throughout the day. Go for this option if you cannot afford a portable medical oxygen concentrator.
4. Oxygen concentration
The concentrated oxygen that comes out of the oxygen concentrator after purification has a very precise pure oxygen content percentage. This percentage value is the oxygen concentration of the oxygen-rich gas supply that the oxygen concentrator provides. Every patient is prescribed with his or her own requirement of the oxygen concentration, so choose according to that.
This factor is often ignored, oxygen concentrators make certain noises when they are operating. Because of the advancement in technology, various models of the oxygen concentrator have been on the market. From the vast variety, the amount of noise produced by each model can vary; choose what you are comfortable with.
6. Unser friendly interface
Whichever model of the medical oxygen concentrator you choose, make sure it is not very complex to use. The oxygen concentrator should have a user-friendly interface and adjustable settings so you can adjust them according to your needs.
7. Additional features
Many oxygen concentrators come with additional features that can make the use of oxygen concentrators easier for the patient. Also, these features may include carrying containers for carrying your oxygen concentrator, flow locking settings, simpler replacing filter systems, oxygen concentrator accessories, and others.
8. Ask about the Service Centre
After you have decided on the model that you are going to buy, check for the warranty of that model. It should be at least 2-3 years. See if a service center is available near where you live. In addition, check for other details of the company including the contact information.