How does an Oxygen concentrator help?

What is the News?

Oxygen Concentrators have emerged as a sought after device as the demand for medical oxygen continues unabated and several states struggle to keep pace with the demand.

What are Oxygen Concentrators?
  • Oxygen Concentrator is a medical device that takes in air and separates the oxygen and delivers it into a person via a nasal cannula.
When is an oxygen concentrator needed?
  • Oxygen Concentrator could help those whose saturation levels range between 88 and 92.
  • Any lower would require more intensive oxygenation and any higher would mean that an improvement in lung function can obviate the need for such a device.


  • Atmospheric air has about 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen with other gases making up the remaining 1%.
  • The concentrator takes in this atmospheric air, filters out the nitrogen and concentrates all the oxygen.
  • The oxygen that is concentrated in this device holds about 90 to 95% purity.
  • Firstly, an Oxygen Concentrator consists of a compressor and sieve bed filter.
  • Secondly, the compressor squeezes atmospheric air and also adjusts the pressure at which it is delivered.
  • Thirdly, the sieve bed is made of a material called Zeolite that separates the nitrogen.
  • Fourthly, 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.
Are all concentrators the same?
  • The Oxygen Concentrator comes with a variety of specifications.There are those with varying oxygen outputs.
  • For COVID-19 patients, a device with a 5L-10 L output is recommended.

Types of Oxygen Concentrators: There are two types of oxygen concentrators namely:

  • Continuous flow: It provides the same flow of oxygen in a minute until its been turned off.
  • Pulse dose: It identifies the patient’s breathing pattern and gives out oxygen when it detects inhalation.

Further Reading on Difference between Oxygen Concentrator and Medical Oxygen

 Source: The Hindu


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