A Short Guide for Oxygen Cylinder and Concentrators: Definition, Types, and Uses
Apart from some antibiotics, oxygen cylinder and concentrators have been the first line of defense in the treatment of a COVID-infected patient. Oxygen concentrators, unlike liquid medical oxygen, pull air out of the environment and process it to give out 90-95% pure oxygen. These devices, as a result, have become extremely critical in treating COVID patients as they face problems in breathing due to deterioration in the functioning of their lungs.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been disastrous to say the least. Millions of lives have been lost and even more have been seriously affected due to the spillover effects of the pandemic. The pandemic has affected each and every sphere of human lives, from economy to international relations. Every societal and administrative level of governance has been employed to solve the COVID-19 juggernaut. The basic reason behind all this COVID scare is because no concrete medication or treatment has been devised yet which can save an individual’s life. At the individual level, the extent and pace of deterioration caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, especially in the lungs, is something that has not been seen before.
What Makes Oxygen Cylinder and Concentrator So Critical?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus can cause pneumonia, which if untreated can result in acute respiratory distress syndrome, thereby affecting the entire respiratory system. Apart from this, the virus, due to the mutations it is undergoing, has had several new variants now; which are also causing bronchitis in certain patients. All these medical conditions like pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome take a heavy toll on the infected person’s lungs as the lungs get filled with fluids which reduce their capacity to take in oxygen, thus resulting in shortness of breath and cough which ultimately may result in death. In such a scenario, oxygen cylinder and concentrator, which provides around 90-95% pure oxygen, have become a sort of lifeline for the patients.
As said earlier, since there is no concrete treatment or set of medications available, stopping the deterioration of infected lungs or at least slowing down the pace of deterioration becomes the first natural step while dealing with a COVID-infected patient. Also, since the vaccines are preventive in nature and not curative, they have no role to play as far as treatment of COVID is concerned. Hence, to this day, an oxygen cylinder and concentrator has been the first and, apart from some antibiotics, the last line of defense in the fight against COVID-19. This criticality and unique functionality of oxygen concentrators is the main reason why the oxygen cylinder and concentrator market is on the rise.
How does Oxygen Cylinder and Concentrator Work?
The working principle involved in the functioning of oxygen cylinder and concentrator is pretty simple. The oxygen cylinder and concentrator setup as a whole is made up of oxygen tank, compressor, pressure valve, sieve filter, and an oxygen mask. This setup basically pulls in air from the atmosphere, which is nitrogen, oxygen, other gases, bacteria, dust, etc. The sucked-in air is then passed through the sieve filters made of Zeolite to separate pure oxygen from the other constituents. The pure oxygen is then compressed and supplied to the patient through a face mask. Oxygen, thus filtered by this setup, is 90-95% pure which helps in fulfilling the oxygen needs of the patient even if he/she is facing problems to breathe.
Oxygen Cylinder and Concentrator Vs Liquid Medical Oxygen
The biggest advantage of oxygen concentrator is that it doesn’t need refilling as the concentrator device pulls in air from the surroundings. All you need is electricity to run an oxygen concentrator. Thus, one can use the concentrator 24X7, unlike liquid medical oxygen which will need regular refilling depending upon the oxygen demand of the patient and the oxygen tank’s capacity. However, on the flip side, the oxygen supplied by a concentrator is around 90-95% pure, while liquid medical oxygen is 99.5% pure. Hence, if the patient is extremely critical, doctors recommend using liquid medical oxygen.
The Bottom Line
During the pandemic, in order to meet the ever-growing demand of oxygen cylinder and concentrators, many initiatives were undertaken by various governments across the globe to increase the production of oxygen concentrators. Medical experts and doctors around the globe believe that the worst days of the pandemic are behind us and though we have lost several lives, this device has helped in saving equal, if not more, number of lives.
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