All You Need to Know about Oxygen Cylinders & Concentrators during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Covid-infected patients are suffering from lack of oxygen and as a result of the large increase in cases in the second wave of coronavirus. Due to the significant increase in incidents, there is a high demand for oxygen concentrators and oxygen cylinders. Social media is also filled with messages from people searching for oxygen concentrators and oxygen cylinders for their loved ones.
With the COVID-19 crisis worsening by the day, lack of oxygen has become a big impediment in India's battle against the virus. However, as the Central and State Governments struggle to obtain enough oxygen for hospitals, the demand for oxygen concentrators has skyrocketed. With rumors and speculations about Oxygen running low in hospitals, some people have begun to consider purchasing these devices for home or group use in times of crisis, despite having no medical understanding or prescription for the same.
What is an Oxygen Concentrator?
An oxygen concentrator is a type of medical instrument that delivers oxygen to patients who face breathing problems. An oxygen concentrator is used to substitute oxygen in the blood of people who have a lower-than-average oxygen concentration. Oxygen concentrators filter the surrounding air, compress it to the necessary density, and then deliver the filtered medical grade oxygen to the patient through a continuous stream system or pulse-dose delivery device.
In most cases, patients cannot purchase an oxygen concentrator over the counter. It can only be prescribed by a doctor after a detailed medical examination of the patient’s health. Doctors will usually teach patients how to use these concentrators safely when traveling and at home.
The performance of an oxygen concentrator is usually calculated in LPM (liters per minute). A doctor can decide how much oxygen a patient requires at rest, while sleeping, and while exercising.
How does the Oxygen Concentrator work?
An oxygen concentrator is a type of medical instrument that concentrates oxygen from the atmospheric air. Air in the atmosphere consists of around 21% oxygen and 78% nitrogen, with the remainder 1% made up of other gases. The oxygen concentrator takes this air, filters it via a sieve, releases the nitrogen into the environment, and concentrates on the oxygen that remains.
This oxygen is 90-95 percent pure when compressed and then dispensed via a cannula. Concentrators have a pressure valve that helps control supply, which can range from 1 to 10 liters every minute. According to a 2015 WHO survey, oxygen concentrators are equipped for constant operation, and can generate oxygen for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, for up to more than 5 years.
Is the Oxygen Produced by Concentrators Pure Enough at 90-95% Purity?
Although it is not as pure as LMO (liquid medical oxygen) (99 percent), experts agree it is adequate for mild patients suffering from COVID-19, with oxygen saturation levels of up to 85 % or higher. It is however, not at all recommended for patients who are in ICU. Concentrators may be connected to several tubes to serve more than one patient at the same time, although this is not recommended by experts as there might be a risk of cross-infection. Taking place
What Distinguishes Concentrators from LMO and Oxygen Cylinders?
Though oxygen concentrators are the most suitable alternative to cylinders, they only provide 5-10 liters of oxygen every minute (critical patients can need 40-50 liters every minute) and are best suited for mildly ill patients. Concentrators, unlike LMO, which must be stored as well as shipped in cryogenic tankers, are usually compact and they do not require a special temperature. In addition, unlike tubes, concentrators only need a power source to take in ambient air.
How do the Oxygen Concentrators Compare with Cylinders in Terms of Maintenance and Cost?
Though concentrators cost Rs 40,000-90,000 more than cylinders (Rs 8,000-20,000), they are essentially a one-time investment. In comparison to cylinders, which need refilling and transportation, there are few operating costs like electricity and regular maintenance.
How Long will an Oxygen Concentrator Work?
The oxygen concentrators can produce oxygen 24 hours a day and last up to 5 years or longer. This device is a power-based device that can be used for an extended period of time. Apart from that, they are lightweight and simple to operate.
According to Research Dive, the global oxygen cylinder and concentrator market is estimated to surpass $ 5,052.1 million and surge at a CAGR of 8.7% during the analysis period.
Covid-19 patients with a low viral load, those whose oxygen saturation fluctuates, and the elderly may all benefit from home oxygen concentrators. This is a common story not only in Delhi, but also in Noida, Indore, Allahabad, Lucknow, and many other cities where families are desperately trying to cobble together temporary arrangements at home. However, the majority of India's population cannot afford to do so. There have also been many accounts of people dying on hospital doorsteps because they couldn't afford to buy critical medicines and oxygen for Covid-19 treatments.
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