Oxygen Generaters

I have come to the conclusion that oxygen generators are likely the greatest medical invention in recent history, though the name is a little misleading.  They don’t generate oxygen.  Oxygen is an element.  There is no way to create it or destroy it, that is, without resorting to fision or fusion.

Some call them oxygen concentrators.  You see theywork by filtering out the nitrogen in the air.  Once that is done, the vast remainder of what is left is oxygen.  The concentration is enough so that it is considered pure oxygen, though it does still contain some carbon dioxide and other trace gases.

Though the advantages of concentrators are many, some are not quickly noticed. Certainly, the tanks are heavier and don’t last as long. …but more than that, they are safer. Oxygen in its pure state is very dangerous. One small tank of oxygen can cause devistating damage.

Though oxygen does not burn, there are compounds that burn vigorously in the presence of pure oxygen. Steel wool smolders in normal atmosphere. In pure oxygen, it bursts into flames. A few hospitals have had blankets saturated with oxygen burst into fire. (one of many reasons to keep smoking from hospitals)
The concentrator pumps the oxygen only to the nose of the patient. This drastically reduces the volume of oxygen at any one time. Moreover, the concentrator does not increase the oxygen levels in the room. If you put an oxygen concentrator in a room and turn it up all the way, there will not be one bit more oxygen in the room, even after hours of letting it run. I must admit that the tanks generally don’t add much oxygen to a room, but they do add some.

Most people, however could care less about this aspect of the concentrators. The things are small, lightweight and simple to operate. Best yet, when plugged into a wall socket or cigarette lighter in a car, they will continue to run for months with little or no maintenence.

Although I don’t use them, nor do I know anyone that does, I would definately give this invention five stars, maybe six.


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