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Boosting overused oxygen concentrators

2021-07-07  Paheja Siririka

Boosting overused oxygen concentrators
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Biomedical equipment technician, Leevi Immanuel started a personal project of assisting Covid-19 patients, who are finding themselves at odds when it comes to the inefficiency of their oxygen concentrators, by boosting the machine to operate at a longer period.

An oxygen concentrator is a medical device used for delivering oxygen to individuals with breathing-related disorders. Individuals whose oxygen concentration in their blood is lower than normal, often require an oxygen concentrator to replace that oxygen.

“The purpose of the machine is to supply patients with more percentage oxygen per demand for their bodies which cannot cope with normal air,” shared the 28-year-old.

Immanuel’s project is aiding the ailing health system that prompted government to scale up its efforts to procure sufficient medical oxygen to meet the growing demand in local hospitals, as Covid-19 new infections continue to rise sharply across the country.

He said: “I read on Twitter and other social media platforms how people were and still are asking every day where they can buy oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators for personal use in this pandemic. I believe it was out of fear when they heard hospitals were struggling with oxygen in the beginning.”

Immanuel told Youth Corner maintenance of the machines is vital, something that should be done annually for the machines to be more efficient.

“What needs to be done on those oxygen concentrators once a year is to change bacteria filters, inspect the compressor, verify batteries voltages, use voltage stabiliser to reset voltage fluctuations and test the oxygen concentration (purity).” 

He said in this pandemic, the 10 litre machines will do much better because of their efficiency in oxygen purity, and one should have an oximeter, which is a device that monitors blood saturation levels (amount of oxygen in the blood).

“The initiative is just to help people who may find themselves in situations where they are not sure about the efficiency of their oxygen concentrators anymore, which could be caused by the fact that the machine has been overworked and certain parts of the machine need to be changed, cleaned or reset, such as voltage fluctuations which requires a voltage stabiliser.” 

Immanuel stated that he is doing at his own cost - labour and troubleshooting. If there is a need to buy spare parts, the owner has to make a plan. 

“I am protecting them from labour charges which I do for free. The finance might come in handy when there will be a need for spare parts, which the owner of the machine can’t afford, and I can maybe ask my fellow Namibians for assistance financially.” 

Immanuel passionately stated that the pandemic shouldn’t be seen as a money-making opportunity, but rather be a time to practice humanity and try to save as many lives as possible.

- psiririka@nepc.com.na


2021-07-07  Paheja Siririka

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