Oxygen tanks and oxygen concentrators are both members of a group of medical devices that offer oxygen therapy to patients unable to get enough oxygen into their bodies on their own. Tanks and concentrators specifically, are uniquely designed to deliver oxygen to patients at home, on the go, or who are being transferred between medical sites.
Oxygen tanks or oxygen cylinders are metal tanks containing pressurized oxygen. To use these tanks, a line of tubing is connected to the tank at one end and then to a nasal cannula or oxygen mask at the other. This allows the oxygen in the tank to be delivered directly into the patient’s nose. Personal oxygen tanks are typically mounted on a trolley or other wheel-based device that allows them to be easily transported by the patient or a caregiver.
Oxygen concentrators dispense oxygen in almost exactly the same way that oxygen tanks do, delivering oxygen directly to the patient via the same nasal cannula or oxygen masks. However, where oxygen tanks contain a fixed amount of pressurized oxygen, concentrators collect oxygen from the surrounding air, concentrate it, and then deliver it to the patient, removing the need for replacement or refilling. Concentrators are also available in multiple styles, offering larger models for using at home or in the hospital as well as more compact models perfect for traveling and moving out and about.
There are many similarities and differences between oxygen tanks and oxygen concentrators, and each has their own benefits. Because of this, finding the right product to meet you or your loved one’s needs might feel like an imposing task. This article will review some of these key differences and similarities, offer some important tips for finding the best product to meet your needs, and introduce some of the top products on the market, helping you make an informed decision that you feel confident in.