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When to start Oxygen Therapy?

When to start Oxygen Therapy?
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When to start Oxygen Therapy?

Highlights

During the 2nd wave of Covid-19, our nation has been facing numerous problems, one of the major problem is, shortage of oxygen, now the oxygen has become the most valuable commodity in the nation, the experts have shed light about oxygen, oxygen concentrators and cylinders, so that everyone understands as to how to avoid hoarding, misuse or wastage of oxygen.

During the 2nd wave of Covid-19, our nation has been facing numerous problems, one of the major problem is, shortage of oxygen, now the oxygen has become the most valuable commodity in the nation, the experts have shed light about oxygen, oxygen concentrators and cylinders, so that everyone understands as to how to avoid hoarding, misuse or wastage of oxygen.

When to begin oxygen therapy?

Patients must know, as to when they are required to seek oxygen therapy, so that one can avoid misuse, wastage and hoarding of oxygen. Dr. Sreenivasamurthy, Senior Consultant physician and diabetologists, gives explanation that, in an ideal situation, one can start oxygen therapy, when Covid Patients oxygen level Spo2 is below 94%, when checked in the pulse oximeter and this must be checked after the covid patient has walked for about 6 minutes. This one is a very simple method followed, which helps identify as to whether oxygen levels are getting lower in the Covid patients. According to, General Physician, Dr Meenakshi Bamalwa Soni, has suggested that, there must be both classification and reclassification of patients for such as usage. The oxygen saturation must be adjusted for lowest permissible level to target 91% to 94% oxygen saturation. There must not be any hoarding of cylinders.

One must use it judiciously

The experts caution, that once you are aware as to when to start the oxygen therapy, do not over indulge in outrageous usage of oxygen. One can use oxygen judiciously, by controlling the flow of oxygen to the lowest minimum level, making sure a saturation of 92% to 94%. Also, try to use non-invasive ventilation methods; including bilevel positive airway pressure (BIPAP) is encouraged. This would help consume less amount of oxygen, advises Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Shafiq A M.

Which is the good alternative, oxygen pumps or concentrator?

Experts have suggested that oxygen pumps or concentrators are both good alternatives, especially for mild to moderate cases. Only those patients having both mild or moderate symptoms and their oxgyen saturation level are between to 91 to 94^ must rely on oxygen concentrators. These concentrators con offer flow of oxygen between 1 litre to 5 to 10 litres of 90% to 95% pure oxygen each minute, this one is not enough to maintain oxygen saturation in those patients who are severely ill. Hence, it is always better to take a physician's advice as to decide how many litres each minute of oxygen is needed, and pulse oximeter is used, to monitor the saturation levels, stated DR. Nanda Rajaneesh, General Laparoscopic surgeon.

Time to Time, Monitor your Oxygen Saturation Levels

Dr Shafiq A M, has added that oxygen requirement vary from patient to patient, few require 2 litres of oxygen per minute while the other might need more, it all depends on the severity of their condition. Hence, oxygen saturation levels must be monitored on a regular basis and supplementary oxygen can be even discontinued, once the patient's saturation as well as breathing is normalized, he stated.

Which is better is it cylinder or concentrator?

Dr L Sreenvisamurthy has stated that cylinders are always better, the reason being they help deliver above 90 to 95% pure oxygen, even at high flow rates. The oxygen concentrators might deliver around 90% on low flow rates of one litre each minute, but 29% oxygen (almost equal to the air we breathe at flow rates nearing 5 litres each minute.

Significant point to Consider

As there is immense shortage, it is always better for home isolated patients to invest in concentrators than buy cylinders. An important point to noted, consult a medical professional on the product you wish to buy, it is essential to know the product well, so that you do not get cheated by online fraudsters, who sell nebulizers as well as humidifiers as concentrators.

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