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An oxygen conserving device controls the flow of oxygen from the source to the patient thus making oxygen therapy more efficient. Only when the patient inhales is the oxygen released through the device, delivering a “pulse” of oxygen. This makes the patient more mobile and also conserves oxygen thus increasing the patient’s oxygen-use period.
An oxygen regulator controls the free flow of oxygen from the cylinder to the patient. It is also referred to as a pressure regulator. A flow meter attached to the oxygen tank controls the speed of oxygen delivery from the cylinder. The doctor or caregiver may set the flow speed from 1-25 liters (LPM) per minute depending on the patient’s need of oxygen.
An oxygen flow meter is a device that is used to measure the flow of oxygen from the cylinder to the patient. It is usually attached to the oxygen cylinder but sometimes you may find it as a standalone device.
An oxygen flow meter is important during oxygen therapy because it provides a quantitative measurement of the gas flow and helps the caregiver monitor the therapy. An advantage of this device is in case of a blockage in the oxygen supply tubing. In such a case the doctor or caregiver is immediately alerted if there is an interruption in the supply.