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Everything you need to know about oxygen concentrators and home oxygen therapy | 2024

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Oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters may be necessary if you need to use oxygen to help you breathe. Here we leave you some valuable data and information for you to keep in mind when using them.

First, how do oxygen concentrators work?

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Air shipments are the most efficient if you need your cargo or documents to arrive quickly and securely. oxygen concentrators They are a reliable and efficient source of oxygen supplement that operate electrically and perform the separation of oxygen present in the ambient air, allowing a constant supply of high purity oxygen.

The concentrator uses a filter that retains oxygen and expels the rest of the air, humidifies it and sends it to the patient depending on the requirements previously given by health personnel.

Generally, these can deliver 5 liters of oxygen per minute resulting in therapeutic oxygen at a concentration of 93%.

It can be delivered through tubes or hoses about 2 meters long, however, the design and pressure of some oxygen concentrators allow a cannula of up to 15 meters to be used.

What are the advantages of using oxygen concentrators?

Oxygen concentrators have too many advantages, in addition to their ease of use. Some of those advantages are that:

  • It is a portable device.
  • Requires little energy.
  • It is suitable for any space, clean and dry.
  • It is easy to maintain. It is enough to periodically wash the humidifier container.
  • Distilled water is sufficient to humidify oxygen.
  • It is ready to use when turned on.
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In this way, we see that the concentrators do not require much effort to use, however, it is necessary to take care of it from the elements, heat sources, direct sunlight and humidity.

Taking too much or too little oxygen can be dangerous. Talk to your doctor about safely using pulse oximeters and oxygen concentrators at home.

Because of your medical problem, you may need to use oxygen to help you breathe. You will need to know how to use and store oxygen.

Where should it be located?

This should preferably be located in the place where the patient spends most of the time, it should be an environment where it does not receive direct sunlight or rain, since it may have splashes or humidity, which is not recommended.

It should also be separated at least 15 cm from any wall or furniture, away from any hot surface such as motors, air vents or heaters of any type.

It may interest you, Continuous Flow Or Pulse, Which Is The Best Option In Oxygen Therapy?

Regarding cleaning, the oxygen humidifier container should be cleaned once a week.

This should be washed with water and detergent, then rinsed with a solution of 1 part vinegar and 10 parts water, and finally rinsed again with water. Then, fill the humidifier with distilled water to the indicated level.

The filter must also be washed and the replacement of consumables can vary greatly depending on their use and care. This filter should be replaced once a year and the bacteria filter every 2 years. However, it is always important to review the equipment manufacturer's recommendations and technical service guidelines.

When is it okay to stop using it?

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Oxygen therapy is almost always necessary after some serious illnesses such as pneumonia, heart failure, COVID-19, or some other lung disease such as an attack of chronic obstructive disease (COPD). After leaving the hospital, you may still need extra oxygen to help it reach your lungs and heart, as well as other parts of your body, so you can recover and feel stronger. Additionally, it may help prevent death among people with COPD, who have low oxygen levels most of the time.

However, people often receive oxygen therapy for too long. If you start this therapy, you should ask your doctor if and when you can stop it, and have a follow-up test, as directed by your doctor. The reasons are given below:

Many people who use oxygen at home long term do not need it.

After a serious illness, oxygen therapy can help you get better, but after you recover, you may no longer need the extra oxygen. Two common tests can indicate whether you need extra oxygen: a pulse oximeter, which is placed on your finger, or a blood gas test, which is taken from an artery in the wrist.

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Tests show that some people recover within a few weeks, and up to half recover within two to three months. For these patients, continuing oxygen therapy is not beneficial. If they stop, they recover as well as patients who continue therapy at home without undergoing testing.

Home oxygen therapy has risks.

  • Oxygen is a fire hazard, especially near a fireplace, stove, or cigarette.
  • Oxygen tubes can cause trips and falls.
  • Nose tubes can cause irritation and nosebleeds.
  • It can be inconvenient to be tied to the oxygen tank. Some people are embarrassed by this. People often become less sociable and active.

Home oxygen therapy has costs.

For people who receive Medicare benefits, oxygen therapy costs hundreds of dollars a month. You have to pay one-fifth of the bill yourself, or with your additional health insurance.

The use of oxygen at home has almost doubled in the last ten years. About half of patients do not have follow-up tests after two to three months, so they do not know if they should continue or stop treatment. If you don't need oxygen therapy, why spend the money?

How do you know if you need oxygen at home?

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Normal blood oxygen levels are above 95%. Home oxygen therapy is beneficial when your level is 88% or less.

Some people only need extra oxygen at certain times. For example, your doctor may tell you to use oxygen therapy when you exercise or sleep, or if your blood oxygen level is 88% or lower.

If you have started giving yourself oxygen at home, you should never reduce or stop it on your own. It is important to talk to your doctor if you think your oxygen therapy needs to change. There are serious medical risks, including stress on the heart and lungs, if you stop using extra oxygen when you need it.

How is oxygen in the blood analyzed?

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There are two main ways to test blood oxygen levels:

  • Un pulse oximeter: This device is placed on the finger or earlobe. This uses light to analyze the amount of oxygen in the blood.
  • A blood gas test: If a more accurate reading is needed, medical staff will usually take a blood sample from an artery in your wrist.

When to call the doctor

If you have any of the symptoms below, check your oxygen equipment first.

  • Check that the connections between the probes and your oxygen supply do not leak.
  • Make sure oxygen is flowing.

If your oxygen equipment is working well, call your provider if:

  • You have a lot of headaches.
  • You feel more nervous than usual.
  • Your lips or nails turn blue.
  • You feel sleepy or confused.
  • Your breathing is slow, shallow, difficult, or irregular

Call your child's doctor, or provider, if your child receives oxygen and has any of the following symptoms:

  • Breathe faster than normal.
  • Flare your nostrils when you breathe.
  • Makes a growling noise.
  • His chest contracts with each breath.
  • Lose your appetite.
  • It has a dark, gray, or bluish color around the lips, gums, or eyes.
  • He is irritable.
  • You have trouble sleeping.
  • He seems out of breath.
  • He is without strength or very weak.

We hope this information is useful to you, consult with us about your equipment.

You may also like, Difference Between Home Oxygen Concentrator and Medical Grade.

This report is for you to use when you talk to your healthcare provider. It should not be used in place of medical advice or treatment. Use this report at your own risk.


If you want to see more, you can enter our category dedicated to oxygen concentrators.




Choosing Wisely

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Jorge Camargo

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