What Is an Oxygen Concentrator?

Oxygen Concentrator

An oxygen concentrator (also sometimes called “oxygen generator”) is a medical device used to deliver oxygen to those who require it. People may require it if they have a condition that causes or results in low levels of oxygen in their blood. These oxygen concentrators are normally obtained via prescription and therefore cannot be purchased over the counter. 

An oxygen concentrator will draw in as much fresh air as it can from its surroundings and will compress the air as well as segregate Nitrogen from it. Thus, the output from it is purified oxygen of the highest degree that can be delivered straight to the beneficiary through a nasal cannula. We have been taught from the early days of our science lessons that oxygen is the lifeline of the human body. Major body organs such as the brain, the heart, and the lungs need large quantities of oxygen in order to perform well. Oxygen acts like a fuel to our body. 

Oxygen concentrators are powered by plugging in to an electrical outlet or by battery. If the concentrator is powered by an electric battery, that battery will need to be charged by plugging into an outlet. Several parts make up a concentrator, including a compressor, sieve bed filter, and circuit boards.

An oxygen concentrator has a compressing element, but it should not be confused with compressed oxygen or an oxygen tank. Whereas a tank has a set amount of oxygen that it dispenses, a concentrator filters in air, compresses it, and delivers air continuously. The air supply will never run out. Instead of refilling compressed air, the concentrator just needs access to power.

How Does an Oxygen Concentrator Work?

An oxygen concentrator works much like a window air conditioning unit: it takes in air, modifies it and delivers it in a new form. An oxygen concentrator takes in air and purifies it for use by people requiring medical oxygen due to low oxygen levels in their blood.

It works by:

  1. Taking in air from its surroundings
  2. Compressing air, while the cooling mechanism keeps the concentrator from overheating
  3. Removing nitrogen from the air via filter and sieve beds
  4. Adjusting delivery settings with an electronic interface
  5. Delivering the purified oxygen via a nasal cannula or mask