Oxygen is imperative for the sustenance of life on earth, and it is the universe’s third most common element after hydrogen and helium. So even though it is abundantly found in the earth’s atmosphere, there are certain medical conditions in which patients are administered medical oxygen to increase their blood oxygen level. As such, medical-grade oxygen is essential in the healthcare industry because of its several uses. And some of the significant applications of oxygen therapy include:
- To treat trouble breathing.
- To restore tissues in conditions like cardiac or respiratory arrest, poisoning, shock, or severe trauma.
- To provide life support for artificially ventilated patients.
- To aid heartbeat stability in an acutely ill patient.
- It serves as a basis for virtually all modern anesthetic techniques.
So if you are dealing with any of these medical problems and have been prescribed oxygen therapy, then you know how draining and stressful therapy sessions outside the home can be. You first must decide which type of oxygen delivering system will be good for you. Also, you have different options for oxygen supply units; however, the choice will depend on many factors, including dosage, degree of activity, and mobility. For this, you will need to consult with your doctor as it will depend on the problem you’re diagnosed with and the degree of activity your lifestyle demands.
And here are three different types of oxygen supply units:
1. Liquid Oxygen Tanks
Liquid oxygen tanks are the most efficient means of storing medical-grade oxygen as the liquid state contains much more oxygen than when stored as compressed gas. For instance, one litre of liquid oxygen is equivalent to approximately 850 litres of oxygen in a gaseous state. Meanwhile, liquid oxygen is stored in the cylinders at -170 degrees Celsius. However, these large and bulky oxygen supply units need to be periodically refilled by the suppliers. The supply will last for about two weeks when used as the primary source, and depending on the flow rate, you have been prescribed. And portable tanks will usually be refilled from the primary container, and they will last for approximately 9 to 10 hours at a flow rate of 2. Besides, you don’t need any power supply to operate these units, so they operate without making much noise.
2. Compressed Oxygen Cylinders
Compressed oxygen gas is stored in these cylinders, and these are refilled at a gas manufacturing plant through pressure swing absorption or cryogenic distillation and then supplied to your facilities. Therefore, regular refilling is one of the major challenges when opting for compressed oxygen cylinders. And here, logistics are involved, leading to added costs and making the process time-consuming. Plus, several accessories and equipment are required to connect them. However, they are ideal in areas or facilities with intermitted and unreliable power supply because they are non-reliant on electricity. These are the oxygen cylinders that you will find in most ambulances and are also used when transporting patients.
3. Portable Oxygen Concentrator System
This is a new choice of lightweight cylinders that are easier to carry, store and maneuver. For moderate mobility, portable oxygen concentrator cylinders are an excellent choice. These electric-powered devices can be taken with you wherever you go, even on an aeroplane. You can pull it behind you on wheels or strap it to your back; the choice is yours! Meanwhile, you will need a tube of a maximum length of 7 feet to deliver the oxygen to your mouthpiece. These units are either battery-operated or would require a constant source of electricity. Also, you don’t need to refill them; they are chargeable devices, and you can even charge them in your car.
So if you need medical oxygen, now you know the options you have at your disposal. You can make your choice per your mobility requirements, power availability, and your medical condition. But most importantly, don’t forget to consult your health care provider before selecting.