India is currently battling the second wave of Covid-19 and there’s an increase in the demand for oxygen concentrator – a small device supplying supplementary oxygen-enriched air to people requiring oxygen therapy.
India is struggling to cope with an acute oxygen crisis. The surge in demand, observed in many states including Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, led to an acute shortage of oxygen in the country, with many hospitals sending SOS messages.
When should one use oxygen concentrator?
“In the case of Covid-19 patients, who feel breathless when their oxygen saturation drops below 94 per cent, then he or she must be put on Oxygen Therapy immediately to avoid damage to other body parts. Oxygen concentrators play an important role as they supply supplemental oxygen to patients via nasal cannula,” Sunil Khurana, MD and CEO at BPL Medical Technologies in New Delhi, said.
“Oxygen concentrators work like the air conditioning machine. It takes the oxygen from the air, modifies it and releases it in a different form. Oxygen concentrators concentrate the ambient oxygen,” added Dr Ravi Shekhar Jha, HOD and Senior Consultant Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad.
How do these machines work?
An oxygen concentrator separates oxygen from room air. It provides high concentration of oxygen directly to you through a nasal cannula.
It is used for oxygen provision in healthcare applications, especially where liquid or pressurised oxygen is too dangerous or inconvenient, such as in homes or in portable clinics.
Oxygen concentrators are portable and easy to use and are thus better than oxygen cylinders. Although at Rs 40,000-Rs 90,000, they are more expensive than cylinders (Rs 8,000-20,000), they require very minimal maintenance.
The only maintenance cost is power consumption and the disposable filters and sieve beds that need to be replaced over years of usage.
Oxygen concentrators produce up to 95 per cent pure oxygen. It also has in-built oxygen sensors which can indicate if purity levels go down.
Types of Oxygen Concentrators?
You should know that there are two types of concentrators available in the market— continuous flow and pulse dose. Continuous flow oxygen provides the same flow of oxygen every minute unless it is turned off irrespective of whether the patient is breathing it in or not, while pulse dose oxygen concentrator detects breathing pattern and dispenses oxygen when it detects inhalation, according to Indian Express report.
Importers and Manufacturers in India
Common importers and manufacturers in India are Phillips, BPL Medical Technologies Ltd, Invacare, AirSep corporation, SS Technologies, Oshocorp Global Pvt Ltd, Medtronic, Inogen, Nidek Medical, Chart Industries.
Things to keep in mind before buying or renting an oxygen concentrator
Normal air will have 21 per cent oxygen. Concentrator sucks atmospheric air, filter nitrogen, and other gases, and compresses remaining oxygen dispense it through the cannula. Indian Express report says that “If f 1 litre oxygen is provided to the patient through the concentrator, the oxygen percentage (or fraction of inspired air) in lungs rises to 24 per cent, with 2 litres it rises to 28 per cent and with 10 litres it rises to 60 per cent. Depending on need, the litres of oxygen per minute have to be regulated.”
You should take a physician’s advice before giving oxygen to a patience. You should always keep a pulse oximeter with you. ‘Oxygen concentrators can supply between 0.1 litres per minute (LPM) to 5 to 10 LPM. A concentrator has 92-95 per cent pure oxygen,’ read the report.