To begin, let me define “oxygen concentrator” and explain its function in the most fundamental terms possible. Machines called oxygen concentrators remove nitrogen from ambient air in order to concentrate the gas oxygen. The majority of the air we breathe is make up of nitrogen and oxygen (roughly 78% and 21% respectively), with other trace gases like carbon dioxide, helium, etc. making up the remaining 1%. This dynamic allows oxygen concentrations of up to 97% by removing nitrogen from the air. Typically, zeolite is use as the adsorption medium in oxygen concentrators because it is cheap and readily available. To put it simply, an oxygen concentrator works by temporarily adsorbing nitrogen from air as it passes through the device, while allowing oxygen to pass through unimpeded.
Now that we know what an oxygen concentrator is and how it functions, the next questions are how to test it to ensure it is working properly and why this is so crucial. First, we’ll examine the significance of this issue.
If an oxygen concentrator is working properly, why should it be tested?
For starters, it’s the difference between getting treatment and not getting treatment. If it is critical that a patient receive supplemental oxygen, then quality control methods must be in place to ensure the patient is receiving something other than air, whether they are the patient or the person administering the oxygen. Using an oxygen tank is another option for supplying yourself with extra oxygen, but it requires constant maintenance in the form of tank swaps and can get pricey over time. The presence of oxygen in an oxygen tank is conditional on the presence of flow. This must be the case if the tank contains only 100% oxygen at atmospheric pressure.
However, using an oxygen concentrator does not guarantee oxygen concentrations greater than those found in the surrounding air. Without delving too deeply into why, it is important for the reader to understand that oxygen concentrators require internal pressure for the nitrogen adsorption process to take place. Oxygen output levels would remain unaffect above ambient air percentages even if internal pressure is lost due to a bad gasket, crack sieve bed, or an unsecured fitting. The clincher is that oxygen lacks both colour and odour. It is therefore impossible to know whether or not the oxygen you are breathing comes from a machine that produces 21% oxygen or 100% oxygen unless you have the appropriate testing equipment.
If it is functioning properly, how can we tell? How can we test it?
There is both external testing equipment and internal testing equipment available to make sure an oxygen concentrator is working properly. An oxygen analyzer can be use to check the output from the outside world. There are a variety of oxygen analyzer/indicators on the market, each employing a slightly different technology for measuring oxygen; the author suggests shelling out a little extra cash for a unit that employs a technology that will maintain its accuracy for many years to come. Some modules make use of components that degrade in as little as a year, necessitating regular replacement. Unfortunately, you can get an oxygen analyzer that might last a lifetime for only about $100 more what is a decompression chamber.
As a drawback, external testing necessitates removing the oxygen concentrator from the breathing system. That is to say, you can’t put in use and test the device at the same time. If you’re worry about oxygen levels dropping, you need to keep an eye on things from the inside, which means investing in testing tools like a purity alarm. Similar to purity alarms and indicators, these gadgets use sensors to keep tabs on a target but don’t show the monitored value.
As an alternative, they are wired into an alarm system that will go off if the oxygen level falls below a certain threshold. These alarms typically go off at concentrations of 80% or less. However, not all oxygen concentrators come equipped with such warnings, making the use of an oxygen indicator essential. In order to have full faith in one’s equipment and one’s treatment, it is best to use both internal and external testing devices.
In conclusion, knowing how the equipment functions and how to ensure its proper performance is essential due to the therapeutic importance of oxygen and its specific properties. Any patient or administrator worried about getting the right therapeutic dose of oxygen will need to use either internal or external testing equipment, as oxygen is both odourless and colourless. Ultimately, the best protection and awareness with regards to second hand oxygen concentrator uk quality control is a combination of both internal and external testing devices.