The most common chemical element in the Earth’s crust is oxygen(chemical designation O). It also makes up almost 21 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere. Its appearance conditioned the emergence of multicellular organisms, therefore also humans.
The chemical element oxygen is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas and is necessary for the survival of almost all living beings that exist on the globe. It is 20.94 percent of it in clean air, and that percentage decreases in a polluted environment, which has a very unfavorable effect on all organisms, just as its higher concentration is dangerous, ie it can lead to poisoning.
Invaluable role of oxygen
The metabolic function of oxygen, as an element necessary for the process of cellular respiration and metabolism, is actually its most important role in the process of survival of an organism. By building proteins, fats and carbohydrates, cells create energy that is necessary for all other life processes. And the human body consumes, in the process of rest, 250 ml of oxygen in one minute, while during effort this percentage increases in proportion to the degree of stress.
Oxygen has an invaluable and irreplaceable role in the defense against microorganisms, in the healing of damaged tissues and wounds, as well as in the maintenance of vital functions.
It is certainly worth mentioning that in order to maintain normal oxygen levels in the blood and prevent diseases, it is very important to stay in the fresh air as often and as long as possible. This, along with the intake of foods rich in antioxidants and a proper diet that includes several smaller meals, as well as with regular walks, mild physical activity and learning to breathe properly, contributes to the blood supply with sufficient oxygen. And thus maintaining the vitality of the whole organism.
Anoxia and hypoxia
Lack of oxygen – organs, muscles or blood do not get enough of it, is referred to as anoxia. Low levels of oxygen in the blood or tissues are called hypoxia.
In the case of lack of oxygen in the tissues, there will be a decrease in the absorption of nutrients, minerals and vitamins, which results in infections, general weakness and various diseases: fatigue, palpitations, muscle aches, headaches, poor concentration and difficulty learning as a result. , confusion, indigestion, dizziness, sweating, shortness of breath…
If it happens that oxygen intake stops, damage to the brain, liver and other organs occurs within just a few minutes.
We pointed out that the increased concentration of oxygen in the body also represents an exceptional danger to human health and life itself, since it can cause hyperoxia, ie poisoning. As a consequence of the increased concentration of oxygen, changes occur in the central nervous system, eyes and lungs.
Oxygen poisoning is rare nowadays, but it is important to emphasize the importance of proper handling of oxygen-based devices and proper training of all those who manipulate it: astronauts, pilots, divers, medical staff and other oxygen users.
The most commonly used drug in emergencies
Oxygen is one of the most commonly used drugs in conditions marked as emergency. Hospitalization is taken for granted, and the speed or urgency of introducing oxygen into the body is extremely important.
In case of lack of oxygen, the most important measure is to enter/introduce as much of this element into the body by using nasal masks that can cover only the nose or nose and mouth, through which oxygen is inhaled. For the application of oxygen, devices in the form of a bottle with oxygen or gas, a bottle with liquid oxygen and an oxygen concentrator, a device that is a so-called mobile tank, are also used, since it can be used outside the house.
There is a whole branch of medicine with oxygen treatment, and it is called hyperbaric medicine. Devices that help patients inhale pure oxygen, under a pressure higher than atmospheric, are called hyperbaric chambers.
The amount of oxygen in the blood plasma increases if the pressure in these devices is higher than 2.8 bar, because that enables faster delivery of oxygen to the damaged tissues and cells. This process is used to treat various diseases, from diabetes, vein wounds, angina pectoris and burns, to strokes and heart attacks. The therapy in the hyperbaric chamber, which is also recommended for children, is carried out under the supervision of a doctor and other medical staff. This treatment lasts about twenty days, 60 to 90 minutes a day for adults and about 60 minutes for children.
Concentrators for oxygen and easier breathing – devices that provide an unlimited amount of gas necessary for life
For the additional supply of oxygen to patients in whom there is a lack of oxygen in the body, ie in the blood, a device popularly called a home oxygen concentrator, ie a generator, is used. Extremely useful medical device, which works on electricity or batteries, and works in such a way that it filters oxygen from the air, separates it from the air and keeps it – compresses, thus providing an unlimited amount of oxygen during the period when it is turned on. So, the patient has all the necessary amount of oxygen at his disposal, without fear of “consuming” it.
The process of using or concentrating oxygen concentrators is very simple. It is only necessary for the patient who needs oxygen to put on a nasal catheter mask and to inhale the purified oxygen directly, and everything else is done by the device itself. However, it should be borne in mind that it is necessary for this therapy to be prescribed by a specialist doctor, since it diagnoses oxygen deficiency in the blood.
An oxygen concentrator, which enriches the air with a high concentration of this element, is used in the therapy of lung disease (oxygen therapy), in order to solve the problem of disturbed oxygen balance in the lungs. It helps patients with breathing and sleep, as well as those who have difficulty removing sputum. This device improves the quality of air in the room, strengthens the defense mechanism of the lungs, improves kidney function, reduces edema…
Having in mind the previously mentioned fact that any disorder which results in a reduction in the amount (or reduction of the partial pressure of oxygen) as a further consequence has a disorder in the functioning of the whole organism, it can be said that an oxygen concentrator is necessary. Some research shows that oxygen in oxygen therapy is used in about 34% of cases during patient transport, as well as in about 15% of patients who are in bed.
New generations of oxygen concentrators are quiet and light devices. They are also characterized by low electricity consumption. They have sensors for oxygen purity, and their handling and maintenance is simple. They are small in size, modern in design, reliable and economical.
History of oxygen concentrators
The inventor of the oxygen concentrator is considered to be John Scott Jaldane, who used the forerunner of today’s oxygen concentrators during the First World War in the treatment of soldiers poisoned by gas. After the end of the war, the concentrator was first used in English hospitals – it was given to patients from small portable cylinders.
According to some theories, oxygen therapy was known in the 18th century and is associated with the conclusion that oxygen can be useful in certain lung diseases, in situations when there is not enough ordinary air to quickly remove the fumes of purulent inflammation. Unfortunately, oxygen was quickly marked as harmful and was not used until the First World War.
Over the decades, the device has survived technological changes, and in the seventies of the last century it was already used for treatment at home. Today, there are oxygen concentrators in a wide range of sizes and types. Very popular in modern medicine is the mobile oxygen concentrator, especially suitable for use when it comes to elderly patients whose oxygen levels in the body naturally decrease over the years. It is also significant that the technology has advanced so much, that today oxygen concentrators are also produced that can be used in airplanes.