Darshana Daga , Editor
With the spike in the number of Covid-19 patients, Oxygen concentrators are in big demand. Patients who are suffering from Covid-19 and require oxygen therapy are looking for these machines as Hospitals continue to face a shortage. But, with more demand and supply-side shortages, it is difficult to get Oxygen concentrators easily.
Also, buyers have many doubts when it comes to buying the oxygen concentrator. There is a lot of confusion related to what is the best capacity of concentrators, who will need what capacity of oxygen concentrators, which are the platforms to buy them from, etc.
Let's understand the basics of oxygen concentrators that you should keep in mind before buying them!
Types of oxygen concentrators:
Concentrators are also available in multiple styles, offering larger models for use at home or in the hospital as well as more compact models perfect for traveling and moving out and about and the good part is that you can get oxygen concentrators on Amazon.
There are two types of concentrators available in the market— continuous flow and pulse dose. Continuous flow oxygen provides the same flow of oxygen every minute unless it is turned off irrespective of whether the patient is breathing it in or not, while pulse dose oxygen concentrator detects breathing pattern and dispenses oxygen when it detects inhalation, according to Indian Express report.
The capacity of Concentrator:
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.
Oxygen concentration level:
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.
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.
Portable or Home Use oxygen concentrator?
A portable oxygen concentrator is roughly 3-4 times costlier than a home oxygen concentrator. Therefore one needs to carefully consider if a portable oxygen concentrator is really going to be used or not. Those who need regular oxygen therapy would have one home oxygen concentrator. However those who lead an active life, travel frequently within or outside their base location, additionally invest in a portable oxygen concentrator so as to continue their work or way-of-life uninterrupted.
One must keep in mind that the portable Oxygen Concentrators come with lower LPM capacity (e.g. 2-3 LPM).
While Home-use oxygen concentrators are all continuous flow machines, portable ones come in two options – pulse flow and/or continuous flow modes. Pulse Flow portable Oxygen Concentrators issue oxygen in puffs (pulse) when the patient inhales only. Continuous Flow machines issue oxygen continuously irrespective of whether patient is breathing in or out. Portable oxygen concentrators are generally smaller and lighter than home-use ones so they are easier to carry around.
Which are the online platforms to buy Oxygen concentrators?
E-commerce services like Amazon are having a hard time categorising items as essentials or not. Since only essential items are allowed in lockdown regions, people are not able to order some potentially life-saving items through the online portals.
Oxygen concentrator supplies are slowly increasing. But multiple purchases — up to five or six units per person — by politicians, senior bureaucrats, industrialists, top cops, high net worth individuals, and other influential people are thinning out supplies to retailers and online sellers.
Popular online platforms like Amazon and Flipcard have Oxygen concentrators on their portal. Though, they are in short supply in some areas. In that case, below are some of the websites where you can find Oxygen concentrators.
Websites selling oxygen concentrators:
1MG – Equinox EQ-OC-09, Inogen One G5, Oxlife Portable OC (Rs 50,000 to Rs 2,95,000)
Tushti Store – OCM T51, OCM 5Y, OCM T25, OCM Q1 (Rs 63,333 to Rs 1,25,999)
Nightingales India – Devilbiss OC, Inogen G3, Olex OC, Oxymed, Philips (Rs 37,800 to Rs 2,15,000)
Healthklin – Aspen OC1 Plus, Aspen OC2 Plus, Equinox, Hemodiaz (Rs 35,000 to Rs 51,000)
Healthgenie – HG 503, HG 501, Equinox, Life Plus OC (Rs 27,499 to Rs 1,29,999)
ColMed – Yuwell, Devilbiss, Nidek Nuvolite, Greens OC (Rs 34,157 to Rs 1,06,400)
The government allows importing the Oxygen concentrators for personal use:
Till July 31, one can import Oxygen concentrators, with the help of family members or friends who are living abroad. You can order them through either post, courier or e-commerce portals under the gift category.