The Problem of Oxygen Unavailability
The biggest deterrent to successful surgeries at remote locations and battlefields has been the lack of access to proper instruments and tools. Surgery requires several tools and instruments to proceed, even when you don’t have the preferred access to a clean surgical room.
Carrying oxygen has been one of the largest issues that surgeons have faced. Helicopters are unable to carry oxygen cylinders because the gas is simply too dangerous. Patients need oxygen during the operation when anesthesia is under effect and in post-operative care. Ventilators work best with high-pressure oxygen. Hence, at remote locations, it becomes impossible to provide lifesaving surgical options because the settings are plain, without enough support from the surgeon.
Surgical Protocols and Need for Oxygen Tanks
The anesthesiologists are the controllers of oxygen intake during the surgical event. It should also be noted that oxygen intake levels are increased even before the patient goes under the surgeon’s blade.
While the evidence is not conclusive because of contradictory results, oxygen is given before surgery. During the surgery, when the anesthesia is given, a high percentage of oxygen is given to ensure that there is less of a chance of hypoxemia. The oxygen tanks are used to administer maximum oxygen.
In case of issues arising during the surgery, the anesthesiologist connects the oxygen tank again. Some incidents require access to oxygen for pulmonary health. When the patient has a disturbed laryngeal mask airway, it is good to start high-pressure oxygen. Similarly, bronchospasms during the surgery also require help with oxygen tanks.
At the end of surgery when the patient is getting off the anesthesia; the oxygen tank is used again to supply oxygen to the patient.
In the postoperative period, often oxygen is given for some time just to make sure that no drug is interfering with the lung’s perfect functioning. Another reason why the patient is given oxygen is to promote healing at the site of surgery. It is also believed that pain may make the patient unable to breathe properly. So the patient needs oxygen to help them maintain normal blood oxygen levels. At this point, the oxygen pressure is kept low and this is good for the health of the patient. High-pressure oxygen is avoided in the post-operative period to ensure that the lungs don’t get injured. The patient is also at risk of getting low oxygen to the heart muscle (Myocardial Infarction), arrhythmias, and disturbance in cognitive functioning.
Another thing to remember is that the shivering encountered in the postoperative period will also deplete the body’s oxygen resources leading to hypoxemia.
Portable Oxygen Concentrators are a Life Saver
Many surgeons are now turning to portable oxygen concentrators to provide them with the oxygen they need to perform surgeries.
Oxygen concentrators work by the way of removing nitrogen and other contaminants from the air and providing up to 96% pure oxygen. The zeolite crystals can adsorb and remove an unlimited amount of nitrogen. The very functioning of the oxygen concentrator device makes it a favorite. However, even carrying an oxygen concentrator can be a hassle for personnel in remote places.
For its light and easy-to-carry weight, the portable oxygen concentrator has become a favorite of the surgeons performing surgeries out in the field.
Home Oxygen Concentrator Units in Field Use
It is interesting how surgery in remote areas has evolved to make do with what they have. As mentioned before, it is hard to get access to oxygen tanks all the time for procedures. The portable oxygen concentrators provide the perfect solution to this dilemma. The home oxygen concentrator units come with batteries that are easy to charge. The portable oxygen concentrator units can run for 3 or more hours when fully charged. Even during use, one can prolong the use by choosing the pulse dose of oxygen rather than the continuous flow of oxygen.
Remote Care Protocols with Oxygen Concentrators
Research is ongoing and different protocols have been suggested by various experts. One study came up with the results that the patient can be given 0.9 oxygen with a ventilator. This level of oxygen is enough to sustain the patient’s needs. The FiO2 levels were easily maintained thanks to this protocol.
However some patients may require more than 0.9 oxygen level and for such patients, the study suggests the use of oxygen tanks. It has been recognized that while oxygen concentrators present a great opportunity to help improve oxygen during the surgery and afterward, no one can deny that sometimes the patient’s body will need more oxygen.
However, if the teams working remotely have both oxygen generators as well as oxygen cylinders for medical use; they can easily manage the supply based on the needs of the patients.
Sanai Health at the Forefront of Oxygen Concentrator Innovations
We at Sanai Health have been always at the front of respiratory healthcare technology innovation. The masses deserve the best respiratory health technology at affordable prices and that is precisely what we are providing. In our vast range of oxygen concentrators, you can find portable options that work after charging. On the other hand, we understand the need for stationary units as well and have oxygen concentrator options with high-pressure oxygen options as well as oxygen generators with up to 10 LPM oxygen supply.