Posted on Leave a comment

What is an Oxygen Concentrator? How does an Oxygen Concentrator work?

What is an Oxygen Concentrator? How does an Oxygen Concentrator work?

What is an Oxygen Concentrator?

An oxygen concentrator or otherwise referred to as oxygen machines, O2 concentrators or oxygen generators.

An Oxygen Concentrator is a medical device that concentrates oxygen from the air and stores it in a cylinder, which is later administered to the individual who requires it, by means of a mask or pipe to the nasal passage.

What does an Oxygen Concentrator do?

Oxygen Concentrators, regardless of the name, provide an affordable way for oxygen therapy patients to supplement their oxygen needs without the need of bulky, heavy oxygen tanks. Unlike tanks, oxygen concentrators do not run out of oxygen. A personal oxygen concentrator pulls-in regular room air, filters out some of the other gases present and delivers concentrated, medical-grade oxygen.

Who are these individuals?

Oxygen concentrators are used by people who have a medical condition that results in low levels of oxygen in the blood. It is known as Hypoxemia. A person with hypoxemia experiences shortness of breath.

How does an Oxygen Concentrator function?

Oxygen concentrators are man-made trees. Oxygen concentrators give you purified and concentrated oxygen. An oxygen concentrator takes in air and purifies it for use by people requiring medical oxygen due to low oxygen levels in their blood.

They achieve this by a technique called pressure swing adsorption. In layman terms, what it actually does is,

  1. it takes in the atmospheric air and pressurizes the air against an adsorbent bed.
  2. Nitrogen is retained in the bed and only oxygen with purity up to 93% (+/- 3%) is taken out from the other side of the bed which is then passed through HEPA filters.
  3. HEPA filters can be thought of as a very strict watchman that doesn’t let 99.97% of particles up to the size of 0.3 µm to pass through. You shouldn’t expect anything less because you deserve only the purest.

An oxygen concentrator takes in air and purifies it for use by people requiring medical oxygen due to low oxygen levels in their blood.

Oxygen Concentrator

It works by:

  • Taking in air from its surroundings
  • Compressing air, while the cooling mechanism keeps the concentrator from overheating
  • Removing nitrogen from the air via filter and sieve beds
  • Adjusting delivery settings with an electronic interface
  • Delivering the purified oxygen via a nasal cannula or mask
Posted on Leave a comment

What is COPD? (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

What is COPD? (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Do you have trouble with your breathing on a regular basis?

If the answer is yes, you may have a condition known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD for short. COPD are diseases that make breathing difficult. The two most common conditions that lead to COPD are Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis. Emphysema is a condition when the linings of the tiny air sacs(alveoli) in your lungs become damaged beyond repair. Over time, the lung damage gets worse. In chronic bronchitis, exposure to tobacco smoke and other pollutants cause lung irritation and over time can lead to inflammation in the airways that deliver air into the lungs via the bronchial tubes. As a result, the airways produce more mucus than they would otherwise. The Inflammation reduces air flow to the lungs causing coughing and shortness of breath, and as time progresses, it will become harder to breathe.

 

If you live in a metropolitan city, you have probably noticed the air is thick with smog. COPD is common in cities where effluents from motor vehicles and other pollutants are thick in the air. Air is essential for life, and the air in most major cities is polluted far beyond safe thresholds and is likely to cause harmful effects in the long term.

Furthermore, in densely populated cities with a large concentration of vehicles, factories or other sources of air pollution there is “leakage” of pollutants from the city to outlying areas. Similarly, the hazards in one place can become airborne and reach far beyond their source. Another common misconception is that, if the air does not have an odour, it is safe to breathe. Many pollutants or hazards can become airborne without being detected. Some pollutants, inhaled even in trace quantities can have adverse health effects.

 

COPD is a common effect of Air Pollution, but there is a broad range of undesirable effects, from irritation in the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat to fatigue, headaches, and dizziness. In severe cases, the respiratory tract and lungs can be affected and can lead to severe impacts on an individual’s health. Listed below are some of the diseases that can occur due to or because of COPD:

  • Asthma attacks
  • Impaired lung function
  • Pulmonary cancer
  • Mesothelioma or lung cancer caused by asbestos
  • Pneumonia
  • Leukaemia
  • Birth defects
  • Immune system defects
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Neurobehavioral disorders
  • Liver and other types of cancer
  • Premature death

The Global Burden of Disease Study reports a prevalence of 251 million cases of COPD globally in 2016, and out of these more than 90% of COPD deaths occur in low­ and middle­income countries.

The number of COPD cases are increasing at an alarming rate. The general lack of awareness of COPD can prove to be lethal if not attended to during the early stages. Hope this blog helps shed some light on COPD and how neglected it has been throughout the years.