Oxygen shortage: Oxygen concentrator demand shoots up, check price, type, how to operate

By: |
May 07, 2021 6:16 PM

Patients whose oxygen level has dropped below 94% and is within the 88-92 % range can sustain themselves with the help of Oxygen concentrators.

While the former self regulates the need of Oxygen supply as per the condition of the patient, the latter supplies oxygen at a constant flow and has to be adjusted manually. (Credit: PTI)

With the shortage of oxygen continuing unabated across several parts of the country, the demand for Oxygen concentrator device has shot up to compensate for the shortage of oxygen cylinders and their refills. The major utility of Oxygen concentrators is the fact that they easily operate at home and don’t have to be refilled again and again unlike Oxygen cylinders which are periodically refilled at Oxygen outlets.

When can Oxygen Concentrator help?
With the rising number of Coronavirus cases across the country, the oxygen beds in most hospitals are fully occupied and not every Covid-19 patient encountering difficulty in breathing can get admitted in hospitals. Here comes the need of an Oxygen concentrator which can replace the need of Oxygen cylinders or Oxygen beds. Patients whose oxygen level has dropped below 94% and is within the 88-92 % range can sustain themselves with the help of Oxygen concentrators. However, patients who are registering oxygen levels even below 88 % must look out for hospitalisation or Oxygen cylinders as the capacity of concentrators to supply oxygen is limited upto 5 litres per minute.

How does an Oxygen concentrator work?
Since the air we breathe already contains oxygen upto 21 percent, the Oxygen concentrator accumulates and separates Oxygen from other constituents like Nitrogen(79%) and delivers it through the nasal cannula. The air delivered by the concentrator in contrast to the normal air has upto 95 percent concentrated oxygen. However in case of severe breathing problem and falling Oxygen levels, the patients might need upto 99% concentrated Oxygen which cannot be supplied through the concentrator device and needs hospitalisation.

Concentrator types, price
For Covid patients, an Oxygen concentrator which can supply upto 5-10 litres of Oxygen per minute is suggested. However, it is mandatory that the concentrator at least is capable of delivering at least 90% concentrated Oxygen supply. The price range of Oxygen concentrators begins from Rs 40000 and goes upto Rs 90000 which might render the device unaffordable for a large segment of low income patients. The Oxygen concentrator comes in two types- Pulse and Continuous flow. While the former self regulates the need of Oxygen supply as per the condition of the patient, the latter supplies oxygen at a constant flow and has to be adjusted manually.

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