- Oxygen concentrators can be confusing to buy.
- Buyers should check capacity before buying.
- There are several scams going around, avoid them.
The number of new Covid-19 cases in India might have come down to 3.29 lakh but, the situation remains to be of concern. There are number of patients dealing with breathing issues as hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and other facilities remain difficult to find. Oxygen concentrators, that provide temporary relief, also remain in high demand. The challenge is that only till a few months back, not many people knew about them or understood them properly. Now, most of them have to buy one.
The interested buyers need to understand that any medical equipment can be confusing and should be bought only after proper advise. The oxygen concentrators are the same. They come in different sizes, have varied flow rates and serve distinct purposes. On top it, there are a number of scams happening across the country which buyers need to be aware of.
So, just buying one oxygen concentrator isn't enough. The buyers should know what they are spending on.
CAPACITY IS IMPORTANT
The efficiency of an oxygen concentrator depends on its capacity. They come in different sizes 5L and 10L available more accessible. A 5L oxygen cylinder can provide 5 litres of oxygen in a minute, while the 10L concentrator can provide 10 litres of oxygen in a minute. The first should be enough for patients with mild symptoms and basic requirements but, we will advise you to buy 10L concentrators better efficiency. Also, the buyers need to keep in mind that a 5L concentrator will not be enough if there are more than one patient at home.
At the same time, if the patient has to travel or has to be admitted in a hospital, the 5L portable oxygen concentrators can be handier during the journey. They pack a batter and don't need a power source all the time.
CONCENRATION LEVEL IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT
All oxygen concentrators have different oxygen concentration level. Some of them promise has 87 per cent oxygen, while others promise the same up to 93 per cent. The Covid-19 affected patients usually need 90 to 94 per cent of concentrated oxygen. So, it will be best if you opt for the concentrator that can deliver around 93 per cent oxygen concentration.
Many sellers try to pass off the lower concentration level machines for a higher rate. The buyers need to be check this before paying. This is important because if the level is 80 and the concentrator can supply 10 litre oxygen per minute, it won't be really helpful.
OPT FOR QUALITY
There are a number of brands and websites that are selling oxygen concentrators in the country. Not all of them promise quality. The buyers should look to buy from authorised sellers and retailers. If the weight of the concentrator is less than 14-15kgs, there is a high chance that it of poor quality.
The price should also expose poor quality products. Chinese and Indian brands with 5L per minute capacity are selling for around Rs 50,000 to Rs 55,000. Philips sells only one model in India, and its market price is around Rs 65,000. For a 10L Chinese brand concentrator, the price is around Rs 95,000 to Rs 1.10 Lakhs. For an American brand concentrator, the price is between Rs 1.50 lakh to Rs 1.75 lakh.
If the prices are off this range, then that's a red flag.
DOGE THE SCAM
The biggest challenge for buyers and patients right now is to not fall for a scam. Multiple cases have already been exposed where sellers were trying to charge extra money or were selling low-quality products at a high rate. The best possible solution may be purchasing through e-commerce platforms. But, even that's not entirely safe.
The Delhi police recently arrested a man who took over Rs 1 lakh via bank transfers for two oxygen concentrators but, never delivered them. Another one in Mumbai used the GST number of a reputed textiles firm in the invoices that he issued to fool people. There have been other reports where customers have been asked to pay in advance on WhatsApp or social media but were not delivered the products. Some got fault concentrators.
Many sellers are also trying to sell humidifiers — hello Dedakj — as oxygen concentrators. Read the details very carefully before buying.
We would once again like to highlight that you should only look to purchase an oxygen concentrator from a trusted website or source. Also, please consult your doctor or hospital to understand the exact needs of the patient and make the purchase accordingly.