During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, while on one side we are witnessing people suffering due to lack of oxygen supply, on the other hand, we see a high demand for oxygen concentrators which have become a critical life-saving resource in the fight against the deadly virus.
At a time when patients are struggling due to the unavailability of oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators have become the best solution to provide oxygen supply at home to people facing respiratory issues without needing to be replaced or refilled. However, this supplemental oxygen should only be used upon a doctor’s prescription.
Oxygen concentrators work the same way as an oxygen cylinder. An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that concentrates oxygen from ambient air. Atmospheric air has about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, with other gases making up the remaining 1%.
Oxygen concentrators suck air from the environment, remove unwanted gases, concentrate oxygen, and then blow it through a pipe so that patients can breathe pure oxygen. The oxygen concentrators can supply 5-10 litres of oxygen per minute.
The advantage of oxygen concentrators is that they are portable, do not require refilling and can work 24X7 with a power source, unlike oxygen tanks. So let’s see step-by-step how an oxygen concentrator can be set at home.
Steps to set up an oxygen concentrator
Place the oxygen concentrator 1-2 feet away from the wall. This is because the concentrator needs enough space to circulate air. It also tends to get very hot upon use.
Connect the humidification bottle if it is prescribed by the doctor. It is required if the oxygen flow rate is higher than 2-3 litres per minute. Use only distilled or filtered water in the humidification bottle.
Attach the oxygen tubing to the humidification bottle or an adaptor.
The oxygen concentrator will have an air inlet filter that clears the air. You should make sure that the filter is placed before using the machine. It can be washed once a week with warm water and used after it’s dry.
The concentrator should be turned on at least 15-20 minutes before using it. This is because it takes time to cycle the correct concentration of air.
Do not use an extension cord for plugging the concentrator as it needs a lot of power to operate and might lead to a risk of fire.
Once the machine is on you will hear the loud sound of the air being processed. Always check the light indicator to ensure if the machine is working properly.
Locate the litre control knob and set it as per the prescribed litre per minute. If you are not sure about it, always consult your doctor. You shouldn’t adjust the LPM randomly.
Ensure that there is no bend or kink in the tube. Also, ensure that there is no gap in the sides of the mask you are using to breathe.
In case you are using a nasal cannula, adjust it upward in your nostril to get high levels of oxygen.
Curated and published only for reference purpose. Please read and follow products guidelines before use and take proper medical experts advise.