Oxygen concentrators can be used in hospitals or at home to supply oxygen rapidly and in high concentrations. They are generally used as alternatives to pressurised cylinders of cryogenic oxygen because they are cheaper and more mobile. Unlike these other devices, they also don’t contain a finite supply of gas and thus do not need to be replaced or refilled.
According to pulmonologists, only mild to moderately ill patients with oxygen saturation levels between 90% to 94% should use an oxygen concentrator under medical guidance. Patients with oxygen saturation levels as low as 85% can also use oxygen concentrators in emergency situations or till they get hospital admission. However, it is recommended that such patients switch to a cylinder with higher oxygen flow and get admitted to a hospital as soon as possible. The device is not advisable for ICU patients.
Due to a massive surge in COVID-19 cases all across world, there is an acute shortage of medical oxygen. With oxygen cylinders in short supply, the concentrator has emerged as the most sought-after device for oxygen therapy. However, it is important to note that the device should only be used by people with mild COVID-19.