10% Off Women's Health and Rehab & Therapy, Code: ATBF10, Exclusions Apply
Day
:
:
  866-316-0162

Articles and News

WHAT IS AN OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR

WHAT IS AN OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR
Laura Castricone

An oxygen concentrator (also referred to as an oxygen generator) manufactures its own oxygen by utilizing molecular sieve beds to sift out the trace elements in room air. It is an electrical or battery-operated device. Concentrators come in many varieties, both stationary and portable and high and low liter flows.

Room air is only 20.9% oxygen-rich. The other things in the air that we breathe are nitrogen, argon, neon, hydrogen, carbon dioxide well as others. The purpose of the oxygen concentrator is to capture just the oxygen in the room air and sift out the other elements. Oxygen delivered this way is “therapeutically equivalent” to liquid oxygen.

What is the difference between Liquid Oxygen and a Concentrator?

Oxygen concentrators were invented in the 1970s. Prior to that, a person on oxygen needed to use liquid oxygen and mostly in a controlled setting. The advent of the concentrator allowed patients who needed supplemental oxygen to go and live at home as opposed to an inpatient facility.

Liquid Oxygen

Liquid oxygen was used for many years in the home. It was the “gold standard” for a long time. When oxygen concentrators took hold, they gave patients living at home on supplemental oxygen a way to have more freedom. Liquid oxygen requires delivery to the home weekly or more frequently depending on the patient’s usage. A technician would need to go to the patient’s home, retrieve the liquid system from the home, bring it outside via a hand truck, fill the unit at the curbside, then bring it back inside the home. A lot of times, patients were stuck home, waiting for the technician to arrive. This could go on once or twice a week for most clients.

What danger does liquid oxygen pose to the human body?

Liquid oxygen is –297 degrees and has some real hazards associated with its use. Frost burn is one of those hazards. If the liquid oxygen touches the skin, it will burn it. Many of our elderly clients on oxygen cannot afford to have any abrasions to the skin without being at risk for infection or healing issues. Freezing up is the other risk. In very humid or hot conditions, many times the unit will freeze up making it difficult to refill a portable. Pouring a little warm water on the filler will melt the ice and allow the client to fill their portable.

 

Oxygen Concentrator

A concentrator is free-standing, plugs into electricity, and makes its own oxygen while it is running. Theoretically, you can have an unlimited supply of oxygen with a concentrator. Newer versions have alarms to alert the patient if the purity of the oxygen is low or if there is a problem with the unit. They are designed to be “workhorses” as they are mostly used all day long. Newer concentrators require minimal care. Normally they have one or two filters on the outside of the unit that will need to be rinsed weekly. Other than that, they do not require servicing except at the manufacturer's intervals. The only real downside is the fact that they use electricity. If you lose power at your home, you will need to use an alternate source of oxygen in the interim (ie: cylinder, battery-operated portable system).

 

Concentrators come in 3, 5, and 10-liter capacities. Your physician will decide what liter flow you will need in different situations (i.e.: rest, activity, sleep). Concentrators are made to last a long time. They are a bit noisy, but a carpet remnant under them can baffle some of the sounds. Refer to the owner's manual to see when servicing is required.

 

Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.

 


HPFY Laura Castricone

Laura Castricone

LinkedIn Profile

My name is Laura Castricone and I am a Certified Respiratory Therapist. I have been practicing in the state of Connecticut since 1992. I have worked in several aspects of respiratory care including ...

Read More

Trending Articles

What Everyone Should Know About Resistance Band Colors

Kevin Cleary

Resistance exercise bands come in a number of colors and it’s not just for decoration. Many people use these bands however, they do not have the knowledge of the colors and the purpose with which they are designed.

5 Facts about Syringes You Wish You Knew Before

Kevin Cleary

A syringe is a pump consisting of a snugly fit piston(or plunger) within a calibrated glass or plastic cylinder called a barrel.The syringe is equipped with a hypodermic needle, nozzle, or tubing that helps direct the flow of medication.

TOP 5 BEST REVIEWED NEBULIZERS OF 2022

Kevin Cleary

Breathing disorders, such as COPD or asthma, can be a major detriment when it comes to quality-of-life issues.Treating these breathing ailments with medications is the main course of treatment.Being able to deliver aerosol medication directly into the lungs in an expedited fashion is the best way to manage these lung disorders. The use of a nebulizer for aerosol medications allows for the efficient and easy delivery of these medications.

MINERAL OIL VS SALINE ENEMA: WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?

Kevin Cleary

An enema is used for many reasons.Just as there are many reasons, there are different types of enemas, each of which contains different ingredients and works differently in the body. While some may choose an enema to soften stool or for routine colon cleansing, the reason for using an enema may have more of a medical necessity.

FIVE BEST CERVICAL TRACTION DEVICES OF 2022

Taikhum Sadiq

Cervical traction is a technique applied to the cervical region of the body to help alleviate neck pain, discomfort, and other physical conditions related to the cervical region.Cervical traction works by stressing the neck, pulling, and pushing, thus reducing the pressure on the spine, the neck, and the upper torso.Excessive stress on the neck, spine, and upper region, due to a wide range of conditions or injuries can cause severe pain and can lead to other complications.Cervical traction devices help alleviates these conditions thus offering overall body rehabilitation and treatment options.