What to Consider When Buying Oxygen Concentrator?

What to pay attention to when buying an oxygen concentrator
What to pay attention to when buying an oxygen concentrator

Oxygen concentrators concentrate the 21% oxygen gas in the atmosphere and make it usable for treatment. Especially household concentrators are used in oxygen therapy by adjusting a certain flow rate and connecting directly to the patient. This type of devices can generate 90-95% oxygen gas without interruption. It is produced for people who cannot benefit from the oxygen gas in the atmosphere at a sufficient level.

It is especially preferred in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as COPD. Not all oxygen concentrators are compatible with every patient. Concentrator selection should be made taking into account the respiratory needs of the patient, daily activities, other devices and medicines that he / she has to use. There are devices that can be used fixed at home, as well as models that are portable and can be used by mobile patients. There are many different brands and models of products on the market. Which of these are compatible with the patient can be determined by pre-determining and matching the needs of the patient and the characteristics of the devices. Unconsciously supplied oxygen devices can cause material and moral damages to the patient and the patient's family.

Oxygen concentrators may not be suitable for every respiratory disease, and different devices may be needed for treatment. Therefore, the type, level, course and treatment stages of the disease should be taken into consideration. Respirators should be used with a prescription by the doctor's recommendation. Otherwise, it can be dangerous for the patient. In addition, other devices used by the patient are very important in choosing an oxygen concentrator. Devices that can work in harmony with each other should be preferred.

Brand and model

The first thing to consider when purchasing a respirator is the brand. If the products of the brands known in the market and used by many people are preferred, the risk of experiencing problems decreases. However, it gives clues about the production quality in which country the device is produced. It is important not only the brand but also the model to be preferred. Each brand has models with different features. Although the products of the relevant brand are generally of good quality, purchasing a wrongly manufactured model may cause serious problems in the future. In addition, the specifications of the model to be purchased may not meet the needs of the patient. For this reason, it is necessary to compare different models of the same brand with each other and make a choice accordingly. Choosing a product that does not fully meet the needs of the patient may cause more harm than benefit. In addition, frequent service requirements may result in financial losses. Eventually you may have to buy a new device.

Duration of Use

Different models of devices may have different usage characteristics. Some oxygen concentrators need to be left to rest for 6 minutes after 7-30 hours of use. Some of them can be operated for 24 hours without interruption. Those that can be operated continuously for 24 hours are more durable and more expensive than others. If devices that have to be rested at certain time intervals are used uninterruptedly, a decrease in operating performance may occur. The oxygen production capacity of the device may also decrease over time.

Even oxygen concentrators, which can be operated without interruption, are resting every 12 hours, preventing technical problems in the long term. Since the devices will cool down during resting, problems caused by overheating are prevented.

Another feature related to the duration of use is how many hours the concentrator can serve without any problems. Some devices can serve a total of 10000, some 20000, some 30000 hours. This feature of the devices varies according to R&D, production and part quality. Devices that can serve longer are considered less likely to cause problems.

Display, Digital Display and Remote Control

There are oxygen concentrators with display and digital display as well as concentrators that can be controlled completely mechanically. Parameters such as how long the device has been working, oxygen density, total capacity, operation and malfunction warnings can be displayed on the screen. Some devices have a "timer", that is, a timer feature. In this way, the device can be pre-set and automatically turn off after a certain period of time. This feature has been developed for patients who cannot follow the operation of the device and have to use the device for limited periods.

Some devices have remote control feature. Thanks to the remote control, it can be controlled without going near the oxygen device. The device can be turned on and off remotely or the oxygen flow rate of the device can be adjusted.

Legislation

In order for oxygen concentrators to be put on the market in our country, all quality certificates must be prepared in accordance with legal regulations. In this way, sales, service and warranty conditions are brought in line with certain standards. All controls of certified products that comply with legal regulations on health compliance have been carried out and approved by government agencies. Nevertheless, these documents should be checked just in case while researching the device.

Choosing products that comply with the legislation largely eliminates the negative situations that may occur in the future. As a result, nobody wants to use illegal products without documents, guarantees or unregistered products. How the devices enter the country, whether they are controlled by government agencies, the availability of mandatory certificates, documents such as warranty and invoices should be checked by the consumer during the procurement process. In case of deficiency, complaints should be made to the necessary places.

Oxygen Density

Oxygen concentrators decompose nitrogen and oxygen gas in the air. Most of the devices bring the oxygen to 90-95% density and deliver it to the patient. In some devices, this situation varies between 30% and 90%. In these, the capacity is slightly lower; their prices are much more affordable than those with high capacity. Those who can deliver oxygen at a density of 90% or more should be preferred when purchasing a treatment device. Otherwise, treatment may be adversely affected.

Most concentrators in our country have an oxygen output at a density of 90% and above. However, devices that give low intensity oxygen, albeit very rarely, can be found on the market. This feature of low-density oxygen generating devices should be specifically specified by the seller during shopping. The certificates that come out of the box of the devices contain information about the oxygen concentration. It can be checked by consumers before purchasing.

Documentation and Accessories

When purchasing the oxygen concentrator, make sure that the invoice, warranty document, user manual, box, accessories such as water container, oxygen cannula and power cable are complete. In addition, the device must be operated and checked before delivery. If there is a lack of documents and accessories or there is a problem in the operation of the device, it would be better to turn to another device.

Oxygen Sensor

Some oxygen concentrators have an oxygen sensor inside. This feature is not available on all devices. Thanks to the sensor, the oxygen concentration to the patient can be measured continuously and displayed to the user through the digital display. In fact, when the oxygen density drops below the critical level, the device can warn the user audibly and visually.

It is critical that the oxygen concentration produced by the device falls below 85%. If the oxygen concentration has decreased, the device is most likely malfunctioning. In such a case, the device should be checked by service officials. This problem can be corrected by both maintenance and repair procedures. Thanks to the oxygen sensors, users can be notified of the oxygen problem that occurs in the device. Thus, there is an opportunity to intervene in the device before the patient's condition worsens.

Alarms

Apart from the low oxygen intensity alarm, the concentrators can have many different audible and visual alarms. These warn the users in case of emergency and provide action. Some of these alarms are: Low oxygen density, high oxygen density, low oxygen pressure, high oxygen pressure, power failure.

Device Maintenance and Filters

The majority of devices on the market require regular service maintenance every three months. If not maintained regularly, the filters may clog, the engine may malfunction, the hoses inside it may burst, or the device may start to work louder.

When the filters are clogged, the device cannot take enough air from the outside and the density of the oxygen supplied by the device begins to decrease over time. Most of the devices have filters that need to be changed during service maintenance and also need to be changed by the user. In addition, filters that can be cleaned and reused may also be present on the device. If these are not cleaned regularly or replaced with new ones, they will become dirty and dirty air may pass to the patient due to dirty filters. In such a case, the patient can become infected.

In order to get efficiency from oxygen concentrators for a long time and to provide continuous oxygen therapy technical service maintenance Besides, users should also regularly clean the device. Regular checking of the devices by the technical service prevents many problems that may arise.

Service maintenance costs and filter prices should be investigated while purchasing a device. How many months the maintenance will be done and how soon the filters will be replaced with new ones is an important issue in device preference.

Concentrator Types

Oxygen concentrators are divided into household and industrial types. Industrial type ones are not used for therapeutic purposes as they do not produce oxygen suitable for health. It is even harmful to health. Household types produce oxygen gas suitable for health. These are five types according to their capacities and usage characteristics:

  • 3L / min Oxygen Concentrator
  • 5L / min Oxygen Concentrator
  • 10L / min Oxygen Concentrator
  • Personal Oxygen Station
  • Portable Oxygen Concentrator

Device selection should be made in consideration of the patient's treatment needs and daily activities. An important issue to be considered is related to the device capacities. There are 5 liter / minute devices sold as 3 liter / minute flow capacity in the market. Even if there is a 5 liter / minute adjustment option on the display of such devices, when the oxygen density is adjusted above 3 liters / minute, Below 50% falls. Really, this is not the case for 5-inch devices. Even when 5 or 10 devices are operated at the highest level, the oxygen concentration should be above 85%. In fact, some devices on the market guarantee an oxygen density of 90% and above even at the highest capacity. In terms of the health of the patient, such quality devices should be preferred.

Sound Level

Oxygen devices have a motor inside and generate some noise while running. If the sound insulation of the engine is strong, it gives less noise to the environment. If a device with low quality is preferred, it will likely disturb everyone in the room, even in the house, as there will not be sound insulation.

Since the devices will start to wear out after using them for a while, the noise level may increase. Therefore, choosing quality devices is very important in terms of the peace of mind of the patient and his relatives. Some models of devices work so loudly that neighbors sitting in the apartment may complain.

Electricity Consumption

Generally, oxygen concentrators available on the market consume around 500-600 Watts of electricity. In some models, this consumption has been reduced to 300 Watts. This causes a noticeable increase in electricity bills. The ones with cheap sales prices are usually those with 500 Watt and above. Although models with less electricity consumption are sold more expensive than others in the long run is more advantageous. For example, a 500 Watt concentrator can cause an increase of around 200-250 TL in the electricity bill on average usage. If a device that consumes less electricity is preferred, a difference of around 100-150 TL may be reflected in the bill. Of course, this situation varies according to the usage time of the devices.

Weight and Dimensions

The small size and light weight of the devices make it easy to carry and store. For example, 5 liter / minute devices available on the market vary between 13 kg and 35 kg. It is very difficult for heavy and large ones to be transported to another location, to be taken off the ladder or to be loaded into the vehicle. 2 people may be required for this. Light and small ones do not experience these problems.

The most important issue not only for oxygen concentrators but for all medical devices is the company from which the devices are purchased. Products should be procured from a company that can provide support for any problem that may arise. Companies that provide after-sales services and consultancy services should be preferred. This situation largely prevents the financial and moral damages of the users.

Another important issue related to service services is the widespread service network. Brands with nationwide or worldwide service networks provide users with freedom of travel. Knowing that the patient will be able to receive technical service wherever he goes, gives peace of mind and confidence.

Spare part

As important as the quality, continuous and widespread technical service services are, it is also important that the spare parts of the device are easy to find and affordable. In case of malfunctions that may occur a few years after receiving the device, the spare parts required for repair must still be produced and sold in the market. Otherwise, the malfunctioning concentrator is a simple spare part. because it cannot be found it may be out of use. Not only the spare parts needed for repair, but also accessories such as cannula, water container and power cable should be standard products that can be easily found in the market.

What Questions Should Be Asked When Buying Oxygen Concentrator?

Before purchasing an oxygen concentrator, all the features of the device should be examined. This process can be facilitated by answering the following questions:

  • How many liters / minute capacity does the oxygen concentrator have?
  • What is the oxygen density?
  • What is the oxygen flow capacity?
  • How is the device operated, how is it used?
  • Where are the on / off button and oxygen flow indicator located on the device?
  • How is the oxygen flow regulated?
  • Where is the meter showing how many hours the device has been used?
  • How to change the device's filters?
  • How are the filters of the device cleaned?
  • What is the price of the device's filters?
  • Can the filters of the device be cleaned and reused?
  • Does the device have an alarm feature? What alarms does it give?
  • Are standard water containers compatible with the device?
  • If a special water container is used, what is the market price for it?
  • Can standard oxygen cannulas be used with the device?
  • Are accessories that can be used with the device readily available from the market?
  • How many months does the device need service maintenance?
  • What is the sound level of the device?
  • What is the free warranty period of the device?
  • What is the year of manufacture of the device?
  • What is the amount of electricity that the device consumes while working?
  • Is there an invoice and warranty certificate for the device?
  • What are the technical service and after sales support services?

The needs of the patient should be determined beforehand and the oxygen concentrator should be purchased by determining which device meets the needs of the patient.

Armin

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