Pressure for Oxygen Therapy

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure for Oxygen Therapy

Patients short of breath may need an oxygen concentrator to provide sufficient oxygen to make their breathing easier. Underlying health issues that could require the extra oxygen or oxygen therapy include asthma, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the flu and, most recently, COVID-19. Without requiring oxygen stored in tanks or containers, oxygen concentrators provide a continuous supply of oxygen that comes from the surrounding air.

Modern oxygen concentrators delivering about five to 10 liters of the gas per minute, typically at about 93% purity, are designed for either stationary (home) or portable usage. While a home oxygen concentrator may weigh less than 20 pounds, many portable oxygen concentrator models weigh less than 5 pounds.

Oxygen Concentrator

The oxygen concentrator uses a pump to compress the oxygen, filters or sieves to separate out nitrogen and other impurities, and pressure reducers to provide low pressure oxygen for patients to breath. With varying pressures and flow rates, different pressure sensors can be used at various points in the system. Any of the sensors for portable units need to be both small and light weight making microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors ideal for these applications.

The low differential pressure measurements for flow are typically only a few kPA. Essentially, any of All Sensors DLHR, DLVR, ELVR, ELV and MLV series products that have respiratory pressure ranges will work for O2 concentrators in these ultra-low pressure applications.

All Sensors E1NJ Package

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A Pressure Shortage?

 

A Pressure Shortage?

In 2021, a shortage of semiconductors impacted automotive companies’ production, smartphone new product introductions, and more. Also, the Colonial pipeline hack created a fuel shortage for the U.S. southeastern states. While the new outbreak of COVID-19 in India has received global attention since it has reported more than 300,000 daily infections for 22 consecutive days, what is less well known is that the outbreak has caused a shortage in oxygen (O2) concentrators.

For those COVID patients who do not require intensive care, oxygen concentrators deliver about five to 10 liters of oxygen per minute, typically at about 93% purity.  Unlike tanks or other containers supplying oxygen, concentrators use electrical pumps to provide a continuous supply of oxygen by removing the nitrogen from the surrounding air. To monitor the process and safely supply air to the patient, an oxygen concentrator uses differential pressure sensors for flow measurements and gauge pressure sensors for sensing pressure at different points in the process. The low differential pressure measurements for flow are typically only a few kPA. For those addressing the oxygen concentrator shortage, essentially any of All Sensors DLHR, DLVR, ELV, ELVR, MAMP, and MLV series products that have respiratory applications will work in these low pressure applications.

Classic Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Oxygen Concentrator Diagram

Classic pressure swing adsorption (PSA) oxygen concentrators use two-bed molecular sieves.

Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
Email us at [email protected]