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Sunday, October 25, 2020

What is an Oxygen Concentrator?

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An oxygen concentrator is a sort of medical equipment employed for providing oxygen to people with breathing difficulties. Individuals that have lower oxygen concentrations in their blood than usual often need an oxygen concentrator to restore their oxygen.

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Typically, you can’t purchase an oxygen concentrator over the counter. However, a medical specialist would prescribe it after they’ve finalized a detailed medical examination.

The doctors will also teach the patients how to utilize these concentrators while traveling or at home properly.

Oxygen concentrators filter enclosing air, compressing it to the needed density, and then administer cleaned medical grade oxygen into a pulse-dose distribution system or the continuous stream system to the patient.

It is also furnished with outstanding filters and sieve beds, which assist in removing nitrogen from the air to guarantee the delivery of wholly purified oxygen to the patient.

These appliances also come with an electronic user network so you can modify the degrees of oxygen concentration and the delivery settings. The patient inhales the oxygen via the nasal cannula or a special mask.

The oxygen concentrator output is measured in LPM (liters per minute). Your consultant will decide what degree of oxygen you require, which could vary during sleep, or when you exercise.

Reasons and uses of an Oxygen concentrator

There are various reasons for an oxygen concentrator, and doctors can suggest oxygen treatment to their patients for different medical conditions. Generally, your lungs consume the oxygen in the air and transport it into your bloodstream.

If you’ve done pulse oximetry or had bloodwork recently done to examine your oxygen saturation levels, and it was discovered that you have low levels of blood oxygen. Your doctor might advise long-term or short-term oxygen treatment.

You are possibly wondering what an oxygen concentrator is used for? Acute disorders often employ short-term oxygen treatment.

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These conditions typically operate for a short period and could have unexpected outset of symptoms, unlike chronic situations where things are done gradually. Nonetheless, some respiratory or chronic conditions require long-term oxygen therapy.

Acute Conditions That Requires an Oxygen Concentrator

Here are a few examples of pressing situations where you’d require the use of an oxygen concentrator for short-term treatment:

Asthma

This disorder is where your airways become inflamed and start generating mucus, which makes it difficult to breathe. While several medications can treat and regulate asthma, an oxygen concentrator can pump elevated levels of oxygen into the bloodstream of the patient when they’re having or already had an asthma attack.

Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)

RDS is a breathing ailment that mostly affects infants, especially those born six or more weeks before their birth date. Babies suffering from RDS don’t develop sufficient surfactant (a lung coating liquid), which causes their lungs to collapse or makes it difficult to breathe.

Oxygen treatment using oxygen concentrators helps pump oxygen into the babies’ bloodstream and lungs to decrease more complications.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an illness where someone develops inflammation in either one or both of your lung compartments. In some cases, it fills them up with fluid. Many pneumonia patients have been prescribed oxygen treatment by their doctors, and good clinical results have been observed in most cases.

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)

Babies suffering from RDS also have an increased chance of developing BPD. This is a serious lung ailment that requires long-term breathing aid.

Sometimes after surgery, you might require oxygen for a short period.

Chronic Diseases Requiring Oxygen Treatment

Few chronic conditions that require long-term use of oxygen concentrator include:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

If you have COPD, you have chronic lung disorder, which makes it impossible for your lungs to consume adequate oxygen. Because of this, you can find it difficult to breathe, and oxygen therapy utilizing an oxygen concentrator could help minimize the disease.

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Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping ailment that can be severe and can cause an individual’s breathing to stop and start while sleeping randomly. Typically, therapy for this condition is “continuous positive airway pressure” (CPAP), weight loss, and physical workout, though some people with sleep apnea might need oxygen therapy.

Cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis causes the digestive system and lung to damage. It is an unusual condition that influences the body cells responsible for generating sweat, mucus, and digestive juices. The fluids are altered, which results in a thicker liquid that blocks the ducts, tubes, and passageways of the affected person.

The working principle an Oxygen Concentrator

Imagine an oxygen concentrator being a window air conditioner. It carries air in, transforms it, and distributes it differently. The oxygen concentrator receives air and purifies it for use by people who need medical oxygen due to a low amount of oxygen in their blood.

It operates by:

  • Condensing air as the cooling mechanism prevents then oxygen concentrator from becoming overheated
  • Carrying air in from its environment
  • Employing an electronic interface to modify delivery settings
  • Eliminating nitrogen from the air using sieve beds and a filter
  • Providing purified oxygen via a mask or nasal cannula

Patients that require oxygen treatment in the past primarily depended on pressurized oxygen tanks. Even though these tanks are handy, they’re also reasonably inefficient, with the suppliers having to visit the patients regularly to fill their oxygen supply in their tank.

Thanks to medicine’s incredible advancements, the oxygen concentrators are portable, quiet, and lightweight, but still provides maximum compliance and high performance. Older oxygen concentrators are enormous and heavy, making it hard for patients who require oxygen treatment when traveling or outside their homes.

You can choose from an extensive repertory of concentrators, from home stationary concentrators to portable oxygen concentrators (POCs), which can be carried with you wherever you go.

oxygen concentrator
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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Oluwafemi Peter
Oluwafemi Peter is a content creator who has an interest in music, tech, sports and people. He resides in Ogun state, Nigeria
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