Place the machine in a well-ventilated area, preferably 1-2 feet away from a wall, with free access to the intake and exhaust. Install the humidifier (usually required for continuous oxygen flow greater than 2-3 LPM). Check the unit's manual or contact the manufacturer for recommended maintenance procedures.
Oxygen machines are very efficient at removing carbon dioxide from the air we breathe. Thus, they require little attention or maintenance other than replacing the filter each time you change the bottle. However, these machines do produce some water vapor when they are operating which needs to be removed by an appropriate moisture trap. A common method of doing this is through the use of a desiccant bag that can be purchased new for about $20-50. These bags will remove up to 99% of water vapor from the air.
If you live in an area where humidity is not an issue, then no action is needed except to replace the filter once a month or more often if necessary (based on manufacturer instructions).
The following are the steps for installing an oxygen concentrator.
Humidification is required for all high flow systems. The sort of humidification equipment used will be determined by the oxygen delivery system in use as well as the patient's needs. The humidifier should always be placed beneath the patient's head. This ensures that the water does not become heated by contact with the heater plate and can be adjusted as needed.
An electronic humidifier uses an electric fan to blow moisture into the oxygen stream, while a mechanical humidifier uses a filter wheel or other device to release water into the air stream. Both types of humidifiers require regular cleaning to prevent bacteria from forming and clogging the tubing behind the humidifier. Humidifiers should never be placed in bathrooms because they are likely to get wet and mold quickly.
Oxygen is toxic if it comes in contact with certain materials such as rubber or glass. This includes storage tanks and hoses for both liquid and gas oxygen. All exposed metal parts of the humidifier should have anti-corrosion treatments applied regularly. Humidifiers should also be disposed of according to local regulations.
Empty the humidifier bottle, wash it inside and out with soap and water, rinse with a disinfectant, then rinse with hot water before refilling it with distilled water. Ensure that the tubing leading from the bottle to the machine is not blocked by hair or other debris.
If you notice any mold growth on the bottle or tubing, have your service technician check the equipment for proper installation or repair. If you use bleach as a cleaning agent, let the unit air-dry after washing it with tap water to avoid damaging the plastic parts.
Oxygen concentrators use very fine filters to remove contaminants from the air. These filters need to be cleaned regularly to prevent excessive noise and energy consumption due to clogged filters.
Humidifiers use carbon filters to absorb moisture from the air. These filters should be changed periodically to maintain dry air throughout the room. A humidifier with visible signs of wear and tear should never be used; instead, get a new one installed by a professional.
Both the humidifier and the oxygen concentrator should be taken in for maintenance at least once per year by a certified technician. This will help ensure their continued effectiveness and safety during use.
A low-flow or high-flow system can be used to give oxygen treatment. Portable oxygen containers can be carried around the hospital, but they must be refilled periodically at a facility that provides this service.
High-flow systems consist of a tank of oxygen connected via plastic tubing to a mask worn by the patient. The mask contains small holes through which the oxygen flows into the user's mouth and nose. High-flow masks are more effective than standard masks at delivering higher concentrations of oxygen because there is less loss due to leakage. They are also less bulky and easier to wear than standard masks.
Low-flow systems consist of a bottle of oxygen connected via plastic tubing to a face piece designed to fit over the nose or mouth. Like high-flow masks, low-flow masks can be worn continuously if needed. However, since there is no reservoir to hold liquid oxygen, it must be delivered directly from bottle to mask each time it is used. This makes low-flow masks less efficient than high-flow masks.
Oxygen treatment can benefit patients with many different conditions.