Which is a Better Choice: Oxygen Concentrator or Oxygen Tank?
Comparison becomes an obvious part of the play when two medical devices perform an almost similar function. Amid the global pandemic of Covid-19, oxygen concentrators VS. oxygen tanks have risen as a big debate. We are here to clear out your doubts make you able to make a better decision. Stay hooked to erase all the question marks from your head!
What Are They Used for?
Oxygen Concentrators and Oxygen Cylinders are both used for providing 100% pure supplemental oxygen to the individual using them. Both are widely used by patients who may have severe chronic hypoxemia and pulmonary edema, or in cases where their lungs are not absorbing enough oxygen to keep them in optimal health, these technologies come in handy.
Oxygen therapy, as it is called, can remit augmented oxygen to peripheral tissues which may have undergone severe trauma or cytogenic edema, and then heighten oxygen content in the damaged tissues. Oxygen Cylinders are even used by deep-sea divers and for food preservation. Not everyone can use these medical technologies because, as in most countries, you would need to have a prescription to be able to use one. When it comes to deciding which to use, there are certain factors to keep in mind, as in, Oxygen Concentrators are based on relatively newer technologies than Oxygen Cylinders and more.
Oxygen Cylinders have a compressed form of 100% oxygen inside of the metal tank. They are used by mountain climbers, deep divers, patients in need of oxygen therapy, and for breathing in higher altitudes.
These Oxygen tanks are supposed to be dealt very carefully and by people who know how these machines function. Because the concentrated form of oxygen, either liquid or gas, can cause oxidation that can lead to an explosion if not handled with utmost care and precaution.
An Oxygen Concentrator works to separate oxygen from the other gases in the atmosphere, like carbon dioxide and nitrogen. And then this oxygen is sent through a tube into the cannula which is inserted into the individual’s nostrils. The rest of the gases are simply disposed of into the atmosphere once the filtration process is complete.
This machinery mainly comes in two classifications. The first being one which continuously delivers oxygen through the cannula and the other in which puffs of oxygen are released only when the individual breathes in, and this is detected by inbuilt sensors inside of the Oxygen Concentrator.
Oxygen Concentrator VS. Oxygen Cylinder:
To decide which is a better option; oxygen cylinder or oxygen concentrator, we’d have to sift through the flaws and strengths of both machines to come up with a justifiable option to go for.
First, let’s look at the strengths of using an Oxygen Concentrator rather than an Oxygen Tank.
Pros of Using Oxygen Concentrators:
Oxygen concentrators come in different sizes and with different tech. They can be either stationary or portable, stationary oxygen concentrators are mainly used in hospitals and houses and can provide an uninterrupted flow of purified oxygen 24/7. Portable concentrators are also popular, they are easy to carry, lightweight and portable are the qualities that every individual looks for. Modern Oxygen Concentrators are designed in a way that they can be used wherever and whenever. They can even come in a backpack form or a trolley that you can bring along with you wherever you go as they are not as heavy and large as traditional oxygen tanks. This is a quality that sets it apart from traditional tanks because any person can easily and readily use it anywhere.
Unlimited Supply of Oxygen
Oxygen Concentrators are designed to constantly filter through the air to bring forth pure oxygen to its user. It is not a limited amount of oxygen compared to oxygen cylinders. This is one of the best features of oxygen concentrators; an unlimited supply of pure oxygen.
Oxygen Concentrators do not require regular check-ups. Just keep them clean, dirt-free and do not forget to use them for at least 10 hours a month to keep them in good working condition.
Cons Of Using Oxygen Concentrators:
Relatively More Expensive
These machines are quite elaborate and complex in nature and this is the main reason why they are more costly than Oxygen Cylinders.
Batteries are an All-time Requirement
The energy source needed for the complicated mechanisms in the portable oxygen concentrator to work is high voltage batteries. This is considered a disadvantage because there are patients who need a constant supply of oxygen, and if the batteries were to run out whilst they were resting or asleep, it would be life-threatening for them. And those batteries add to additional costs. But if you own a stationary oxygen concentrator you won’t have to face the batteries problem.
Now let’s take a look at Oxygen Cylinders.
Pros Of Using Oxygen Cylinders:
Batteries Not Needed
Oxygen Cylinders are simply tanks filled with oxygen and these do not need to be powered by batteries.
Less Costly Initially
These tanks do not have complex machinery behind them, thus are far more affordable.
Cons of Using Oxygen Cylinders:
Many Precautions Needed
There are many precautions one must take for handling Oxygen Cylinders with care. Some of these precautions include:
– Making sure that the pressure regulator is in check.
– The cylinder’s valves should be opened gently to avoid the risk of fire.
– Not using products containing alcohol around the cylinder.
– Keeping it in a well-ventilated place to avoid any fire hazards.
– Fire extinguishers should be present at all times in case of emergencies.
Difficult to Carry Around
The tanks are quite heavy and that does not make them easily portable. They are hard to carry over stairs and even if they are being carried over to another location, extra attention must be paid to make sure that the pressure valves are not accidentally turned in the wrong direction. Portable oxygen tanks are also available but they can’t store enough oxygen.
Can be Expensive
Initial purchasing costs are cheaper than oxygen concentrators. Oxygen tanks do not need a lot of maintenance but replacements and refillings can make them quite expensive if used in the long run.
After all these evaluations, you can also consult with your doctor on which one is better for you; oxygen cylinder or an oxygen concentrator. If it is likely to be a one-time or short-term use, then oxygen cylinders may just work, but if it is needed for the long run, oxygen concentrators are worth the money you invest in them. They carry lesser risks and can also be portable which makes them the popular choice amongst