KYoC—Know Your Oxygen Concentrator
Oxygen is essential for our survival. All our bodily functions depend on the supply of oxygenated blood that our heart pumps throughout our bodies. Without a constant supply of oxygen, our organs and critical bodily functions cannot function optimally. This condition can quickly become life-threatening if the oxygen level falls below 80, known as Hypoxemia.
What is Hypoxemia?
Hypoxemia is a reduction in the level of oxygen in our blood. Hypoxemia is a sign of respiratory or circulatory distress and can be showcased by symptoms such as shortness of breath.
There are many reasons why our blood oxygen levels, also known as SpO2, may fall. Factors impacting blood oxygen levels include:
· Lung disorders such as COPD
· Lung Cancer
· ARDS or acute respiratory distress syndrome
· Heart disease
· Interstitial lung disease
· High altitude
How is Hypoxemia treated?
Treatment for Hypoxemia typically involves addressing the underlying cause of the condition and may involve supplemental oxygen therapy, medications, or in some cases, surgery. It is essential to seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms of Hypoxemia, as prompt treatment can help prevent serious complications.
What is oxygen therapy?
Oxygen therapy is a treatment that involves supplying extra oxygen to the body to help improve oxygen levels in the blood. This treatment is used to help alleviate symptoms associated with conditions that cause low oxygen levels in the blood, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, and sleep apnea, among others.
Oxygen therapy can be administered using portable and stationary oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders or other oxygen delivery methods in various ways, including through a nasal cannula (a small tube that fits into the nostrils), a face mask, or a ventilator (for more severe cases). The type and duration of oxygen therapy will depend on the specific condition and its severity.
Oxygen therapy aims to deliver enough oxygen to the body to relieve symptoms and prevent potential complications. It is essential to follow your doctor's instructions and use oxygen therapy as directed, as misusing supplemental oxygen can be dangerous and potentially lead to further health problems.
Will my body get dependent on Oxygen if I use it continuously?
Your doctor prescribes you oxygen therapy to meet the shortfall caused by impaired lung capacity. Oxygen therapy is not addictive and is prescribed to help you lead a normal life. It's crucial to use supplemental oxygen as directed by your doctor and not discontinue its use without consulting with them. Your doctor will monitor your oxygen levels and adjust your treatment plan to ensure that you receive the appropriate amount of oxygen to meet your needs.
What are the various types of oxygen concentrators?
Oxygen concentrators are devices that are used to provide supplemental oxygen to individuals with low oxygen levels in the blood. There are several different types of oxygen concentrators, including:
· Stationary oxygen concentrators: These devices are designed to be used in one location and plugged into an electrical outlet. They are typically used for individuals who need a continuous supply of oxygen.
· Portable oxygen concentrators: These are smaller, lightweight devices that can be carried around and are designed to be used on the go. They run on battery power and can be used in various settings, including while traveling or participating in outdoor activities.
Are all oxygen concentrators the same?
As explained earlier, oxygen concentrators differ by type (stationary or portable) and oxygen delivery method. The two different types of oxygen delivery methods include:
· Continuous flow: These devices deliver a continuous flow of oxygen to the user and are typically used by individuals who require a high level of oxygen support or high-flow oxygen therapy. Devices such as Drive DeVilbiss 5L/10L are designed for 24x7 use and can easily fulfil all your oxygen therapy needs.
· Pulse flow or pulse dose: These devices deliver short bursts, or "pulses," (also known as bolus doses) of oxygen to the user as needed. Pulse dose concentrators such as the Inogen One G5 have a sensor that only provides a bolus dose of oxygen when you breathe in, helping it become more efficient and last longer on a single charge.
Which is the best Oxygen Concentrator brand for me?
It's important to note that different oxygen concentrators may have different flow rates and oxygen concentration levels. The type of concentrator that works best for you will depend on your specific medical needs and lifestyle. Your doctor can help you determine which type of oxygen concentrator is best for you. If you need a portable oxygen concentrator, the Inogen One G5 is one of the best and oxygen concentrators available today. With nearly 13 hours of oxygen supply on a single charge (with a double battery), the Inogen One G5 can help you get through an entire day without running out of battery power.
Can I use a portable Oxygen Concentrator while sleeping?
Yes, you can use a portable oxygen concentrator while sleeping. In fact, using a portable oxygen concentrator at night is a common way to receive supplemental oxygen while you sleep. Portable oxygen concentrators such as the Inogen One G5 are designed to be used while on the go. Many models are equipped with features that make them suitable for use at night, such as quiet operation and adjustable flow settings.
However, it's important to discuss your sleep and oxygen needs with your doctor and follow their instructions regarding using your portable oxygen concentrator. They will be able to recommend the best type of concentrator and flow settings for your specific needs and provide any additional instructions or precautions you may need to follow while using it at night.
What are the side effects of using an oxygen concentrator?
While oxygen concentrators are generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects that you should be aware of. These include:
· Dryness: Continuous exposure to oxygen can cause dryness in the mouth, nose, and throat. This can be especially problematic at night and may lead to a sore throat or discomfort.
· Nasal irritation: Using a nasal cannula or face mask for extended periods can irritate the nose and surrounding skin. This can lead to redness, and itching.
· Oxygen toxicity: In rare cases, exposure to high concentrations of oxygen for prolonged periods of time can lead to oxygen toxicity, which can cause lung damage. This is more likely to occur in individuals who receive high-flow oxygen therapy, such as through a ventilator.
· Interference with other medical devices: Oxygen concentrators can interfere with the operation of other medical devices, such as pacemakers. If you use a pacemaker or other medical device, it is crucial to inform your doctor before starting oxygen therapy.
In general, these side effects are relatively minor and can be managed with proper use and care of the oxygen concentrator. If you experience any significant side effects, you must contact your doctor promptly for guidance and care.
Why are Oxygen Concentrators so expensive?
Oxygen concentrators can be expensive for several reasons:
· High production costs: Oxygen concentrators are complex medical devices that require sophisticated technology and high-quality materials to manufacture and ensure their reliability and efficiency over prolonged use. This drives up the cost of production, which is reflected in the final price of the device.
· Research and development costs: Oxygen concentrators are constantly evolving and improving, and companies invest significant resources in research and development to create new and better devices. This research and development process can be expensive, and the costs are passed on to consumers.
· Regulation: Oxygen concentrators are classified as medical devices, which means they are subject to rigorous testing and regulatory requirements. This can add to the cost of production and can make oxygen concentrators more expensive than other medical devices.
· Durability and reliability: Companies design oxygen concentrators to provide a continuous and reliable source of oxygen to individuals who require it. This means that they need to be durable and reliable, which can drive up the cost of production and the final price of the device.
Despite their high cost, oxygen concentrators can be a critical and life-saving device for individuals with low oxygen levels in the blood. Some insurance plans may cover the cost of an oxygen concentrator or provide financial assistance. It may be worth checking with your insurance provider to see the available options.
Today, oxygen concentrators cost much less than they used to. With rental options from vendors such as Sanrai, you can quickly get the device you need at an affordable price.
How often do I need to change the filter of the oxygen concentrator? How much does the filter cost?
It is important to use your portable or stationary oxygen concentrator according to the manufacturer's instructions and to regularly maintain and clean it to ensure safe and effective use. The frequency at which you should clean your oxygen concentrator filter will depend on the specific model you have and the manufacturer's recommendations. Most oxygen concentrator filters and sieve beds should be cleaned or replaced at least once every 3 to 6 months.
However, some factors may require more frequent cleaning, such as higher use, living in a dusty environment, or if you have pets. If you notice a decrease in oxygen flow or increased noise from your concentrator, this may be a sign that the filter needs to be cleaned or replaced.
How can Sanrai help?
No matter where you've purchased your oxygen concentrator from, Sanrai has the expertise and the spares available to help you get the most out of it. The world-class oxygen concentrator service specialists at Sanrai understand the criticality of the devices and your needs better. With a full-scale service and support team on their side, Sanrai can help you breathe better every night.