What is it : An Oxygen Concentrator is a device that takes in air and separates the oxygen and delivers it into a person via a nasal cannula, which is around 95% pure
How does it work?
- A concentrator consists of a compressor and sieve bed filter.
- The former squeezes atmospheric air and also adjusts the pressure at which is delivered.
- The sieve bed is made of a material called Zeolite that separates the nitrogen.
- There are two sieve beds that work to both release oxygen into a tank that’s connected to the cannula as well as release the separated nitrogen and form a continuous loop that keeps producing fresh oxygen.
When is an oxygen concentrator needed?
When blood saturation levels drop below 94%, it could be a sign of respiratory distress. Usually this merits hospitalisation, but due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and oxygen beds in short supply, the device could help those whose saturation levels range between 88-92 if they can’t access hospital services. Any lower would require more intensive oxygenation and any higher would mean that an improvement in lung function can obviate the need for device like Oxygen Concentrator.
Is there any drawback : In cases of severe respiratory distress, it may be necessary to provide oxygen that is almost 99% pure and an oxygen concentrator is not up to that job.
What is in news : Karnataka government to import 500 oxygen concentrators from China