Tips on Selecting the right oxygen concentrator.
The most important is to understand Covid patients may require 90% Oxygen concentration at 1 to 5Litre flow and above 10L when they are suffering with acute respiratory discomfort.
*90% oxygen concentration is the most important point here.*
1. We can break down oxygen concentrator into small (5 to 10 kg) oxygen concentrator suitable for COPD patients, medium (15 to 19kg) and large (20kg and above) oxygen concentrators are suitable for critical care and for COVID patients.
2. Small oxygen concentrators can have options from 1 Litre to 9 Litre Flow but this does not mean you get 90% oxygen at higher flow like at 5 litre.
In small oxygen concentrators 90% oxygen contration is achieved only at lower flows of 1 litre to 2 litre. on higher flows the oxygen concentration drops to 30% as you increase the flow. Suitable for COPD patients but not for COVID patients.
3. Check the specs of the oxygen concentrator and if you see 90% – 30% or ( 1L/min , 2L/min) means 90% oxygen is available only at 1Litre flow or 2Litre flow respectively and on higher flows oxygen drops to 30%. The air we breathing is with 21 % oxygen. So small (5kg to 10kg ) oxygen concentrator at higher flows gives output of 21 to 30% oxygen means its mostly blowing air.
4. weight is the best indicator to understand the oxygen production capacity.
A 5kg to 10kg oxygen concentrator means a small compressor which will only mange to give an output of 90% oxygen at 1 litre to max 2 Litre
A 15kg to 19kg Oxygen Concentrator will have a compressor that can easily give an output of 90% oxygen at flows from 1 Litre to 5 Litre Oxygen (Ideal for COVID patients and critical care patients)
A 20 kg and above oxygen concentrator will have a large compressor which can give an output of 90% oxygen from 1Litre to 10Litre flow. (Ideal for COVID patients and critical care patients and for dual patients to use same machine with accessories)
Please do not only see the output flow of an oxygen concentrator like 5litre, 10litre or so. the most important is to make sure you get 90% Oxygen at highest flow level.
For a small family with no senior citizens a 5 litre at 90% oxygen concentration should be good enough.
For 2 senior citizens or for a big family 10 litre at 90% oxygen concentration should be good enough as it can support 2 patients at once if the need arises. And can assist senior citizens during home critical care if the need arises.
Please do not get fooled and pay big money for small oxygen concentrator sold by highlighting 5 Litre and 8 Litre and do not give an output of 90% concentration of oxygen at higher flows which is the need of the hour.
Please read the specs well and if required please ask your supplier to show you the oxygen output on an oxygen analyzer at higher flow of 5 Litre or 10 Litre.
We wish all the best of health and hopefully none of us has to use an oxygen concentrator.