Patients all over the world, both in hospitals and at home, make great use of oxygen concentrators to improve their quality of life. How exactly do these incredible devices work? Here’s what you need to know about oxygen concentrators.
How Does It Work?
Not everyone knows this, but the air we breathe is only about 21 percent oxygen. Oxygen concentrators pull the oxygen from the air and then filter and concentrate these molecules into a much purer form. The device sucks in air, separates nitrogen from oxygen, and then discharges oxygen through tubing for the user.
Who Needs One?
Patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other diseases which affect blood oxygen levels may require an oxygen concentrator to reduce feelings of breathlessness. This feeling makes it difficult to exercise, travel, and even go about day-to-day life, so oxygen concentrators help improve these patients’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being.
How Can You Use One Safely?
While oxygen concentrators are extremely beneficial and provide much-needed relief for their users, these devices aren’t without danger. Oxygen tanks require proper upright storage in a room-temperature space. Never leave an oxygen tank in a hot car, and never store one on its side. Additionally, you should never smoke within 15 feet of an oxygen concentrator.
Why Is It Beeping?
Many high-tech devices come with error codes and warning lights to let users know when something is amiss. Oxygen concentrators are no different. As there are many different types of oxygen concentrators, the best thing you can do when your machine starts beeping is refer to your manual.
Generally, alarms on oxygen concentrators indicate a failure to produce enough oxygen, a loss of power, a problem with the oxygen flow rate, or an overheating unit.
Now that you understand what you need to know about oxygen concentrators, talk with your doctor if you experience regular feelings of breathlessness.