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Oxygen concentrator buying guide: 10 points you must keep in mind

With the increased demand, there is a lot of confusion around oxygen concentrators as well. So, if you want to buy one, here are 10 things to keep in mind.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | May 11, 2021 | Updated 15:03 IST
Oxygen concentrators
Oxygen concentrators work the same way as an oxygen cylinder or tank.

Highlights

  • Oxygen concentrators are in high demand across India.
  • They help Covid-19 affected patients breathe properly.
  • Here is a complete buying guide on oxygen concentrators.

India continues to fight coronavirus. The good news is that the country saw a dip in the number of cases in last 24 hours. There were a total of 3.29 lakh new cases while the deaths stood at 3,876. The number of cases remain on the higher side and a lot of patients are dealing with decreased oxygen levels. As a result, oxygen concentrators or generators are in high demand across the country.

Oxygen concentrators work the same way as an oxygen cylinder or tank. They suck air from the environment, remove unwanted gases, concentrate oxygen and then blow it through a pipe so that patients can breathe pure oxygen. The advantage here is that concentrators are portable and can work 24x7, unlike oxygen tanks.

With the increased demand, there is a lot of confusion around oxygen concentrators as well. Most people in needed are not aware of their properties while fraudsters are trying to take advantage of the situation and are selling concentrators at a higher price. So, if you want to buy one, here are 10 things to keep in mind -

Point 1 It is important to know who needs an oxygen concentrator and when. Any Covid-19 affected patient who is dealing with breathing issues can use a concentrator. In a normal scenario, our body operates with 21 per cent of oxygen concentration. During Covid, the demand goes up and your body may ask more than 90 per cent concentrated oxygen. The concentrators are capable of providing oxygen between 90 and 94 per cent.

Point 2 The patients and their families need to keep in mind that if the oxygen level falls below 90 per cent, an oxygen concentrator might not be enough and that's when they need to visit the hospital. This is because most oxygen concentrators can supply five to ten litres of oxygen per minute.

Point 3 There are two types of concentrators. If the patient is recovering at home, you should buy a home oxygen concentrator. It is big, can supply more oxygen but weighs at least 14-15 kgs and requires direct power supply to work. Anything lighter than this might be a bad quality product.

Point 4 In case the patient has to travel or needs to be admitted to the hospital, you should buy the portable oxygen concentrator. They are designed to be carried around, don't need a direct power supply and can be charged like smartphones. However, they can supply limited oxygen per minute and are only a temporary solution.

Point 5 Check the capacity of the concentrator. They largely come in two sizes - 5L and 10L. The first can provide 5 litres of oxygen in a minute, while the 10L concentrator can provide 10 litres of oxygen in a minute. You will find most portable concentrators with 5L capacity and that should be the minimum to look for. We will advise you to opt for the 10L size.

Point 6 The most important thing buyers need to understand is that every concentrator has a different oxygen concentration level. Some of them promise has 87 per cent oxygen, while others promise the same up to 93 per cent. It would be best if you opt for the concentrator that can deliver around 93 per cent oxygen concentration.

Point 7 - The concentration capacity of the machine is even more important than the flow rate. It is because when the oxygen level drops, you will need more concentrated oxygen. So, if the level is 80 and the concentrator can supply 10 litre oxygen per minute, it won't be really helpful.

Point 8 Buy from trusted brands only. There are a number of brands and websites that are selling oxygen concentrators in the country. Not all of them promise quality. The top brands in India are Philips, Medikart and a few US-based brands. The China-based brands aren't giving the sort of quality and performance that a Covid-19 patient will need from a concentrator.

Point 9 Be careful of scammers while buying a concentrator. There are a number of people using WhatsApp and social media platforms to sell concentrators. You need to avoid them completely as most of them might be scams. Instead, you should try to buy Oxygen concentrator from a medical equipment dealer or from an official Philips dealer. This is because these are the places where there is a guarantee of equipment that is genuine and certified.

Point 10 Do not overpay. A lot of sellers are also trying to overcharge the customers in immediate need for a concentrator. 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 it's 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.

You should also check with doctors, hospitals and others with medical expertise before making the purchase.

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