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Oxygen concentrator buying guide: How it works, reliable brands, prices and things to keep in mind

For those looking to buy a quality Oxygen concentrator for a Covid-19 patient, here are some important points to keep in mind before you shell out money on one.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | May 11, 2021 | Updated 11:44 IST
(Image: Philips)

Highlights

  • Oxygen concentrators can provide continuous supply of concentrated Oxygen.
  • Concentrators come in different make and types.
  • Make sure to consult a doctor for the exact requirement as per the patient's case.

As India battles a rising number of Covid-19 cases, oxygen concentrators and cylinders remain to be in high demand. While hospitals are trying to maintain a continuous supply, those advised to recover at home might also need concentrated Oxygen to fight the disease. As a result, the demand for Oxygen concentrators has skyrocketed. A concentrator promises an endless supply of Oxygen. The oxygen concentrator sucks air from the environment, removes unwanted gases, concentrates oxygen and then blows pure oxygen through a pipe so that patients can breathe properly.

The challenge is to choose the right oxygen concentrator. They are available in different sizes and form factors. Lack of knowledge makes it tough to make the correct decision. To make things worse, there are several sellers trying to fool people and overcharge them for concentrators. So, how do you buy a good one? What are the options available in the market?

Here, we try to solve this dilemma with a complete buyer's guide to Oxygen concentrators - how they work, things to keep in mind while operating one and which ones to buy. In case you are needing one at home, here is what you should know.

BEST PLACE TO BUY OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS IN INDIA

Right now, there are a number of people selling Oxygen concentrators. Avoid them if you can, particularly the ones selling them on WhatsApp and social media. 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.

Even if you are left with no other option and have to buy the concentrator from an unknown person, do not pay the money in advance. Try to get the product first and test it before paying. You can read things to keep in mind while buying an Oxygen concentrator.

BEST BRANDS FOR OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS AND PRICES

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.

As far as the price is concerned, it can vary. 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.

TOP PICKS FOR OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS

Philips EverFlo

Mild Covid-19 patients who can compromise on the capacity of the Oxygen concentrator can go for a quality make by Philips that comes as the only home Oxygen concentrator offering by the company in India.

EverFlo promises a flow rate of 0.5 litres per minute to 5 litres per minute, while the Oxygen concentration level is maintained at 93 (+/- 3) per cent.

It measures 23 inch in height, 15 inch in width and 9.5 inch in depth. It weighs 14 kg and has 350 W of power consumption on average.

EverFlo also comes with two OPI (Oxygen Percentage Indicator) alarm levels, one indicating low Oxygen (at 82%) and another alarming of very low Oxygen (at 70%).

AirSep New Life Intensity

Listed (but unavailable at the time of writing) on both Flipkart and Amazon, this Oxygen concentrator model by Airsep is one of the few machines that promise up to a 10 litre per minute flow.

NewLife Intensity also promises to deliver this high flow at a high pressure of up to 20 psi. The company thus claims it to be ideal for long-term care facilities where higher oxygen flow is necessary.

The Oxygen purity levels listed on the device promise 92% (+3.5/ -3%) Oxygen at 2 to 9 litres per minute. At the maximum capacity of 10 litres per minute, the levels drop slightly to 90% (+5.5/ -3%). Since the machine comes with a dual flow capability, it can deliver oxygen to two patients simultaneously.

New Life Intensity by AirSep measures 27.5 inch in height, 16.5 inch in width and 14.5 inch in depth. It weighs 26.3 kg and uses 590 watts of power to work.

GVS 10L Oxygen concentrator

Another Oxygen concentrator that promises a flow rate of 0 to 10 litres of capacity, GVS 10L concentrator can serve two patients at a time.

The device manages Oxygen purity level at 93 (+/- 3) per cent and weighs around 26 kg. It comes with an LCD display and draws its power from an AC 230 V.

DeVilbiss 10 litre Oxygen concentrator

Another made-in-USA Oxygen concentrator, the one by DeVilbiss comes with a capacity of up to 10 litres and promises a flow rate of 2 to 10 litres per minute.

Oxygen concentration is maintained between 87 per cent and 96 per cent. The device is deemed non-portable, weighing at 19 kg and measures 62.2 cm in length, 34.23 cm in width and 0.4 cm in depth. It draws its power from a 230v source.

PORTABLE OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS ALSO USEFUL

Although portable oxygen concentrators are not very powerful, they can be useful in case a patient needs to be moved to a hospital and an oxygen-supported ambulance is not available. They do not need a direct power supply and can be charged like a smartphone. They can also come in handy in crowded hospitals where patients need to wait.

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