How much oxygen a Covid-19 patient needs? Is oxygen concentrator enough?

Mask protects towards SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Vaccine protects towards severity of Covid-19. And, oxygen provides further hours and days to sufferers for medicines to alleviate signs. The oxygen that a Covid-19 patient requires is medical oxygen.

Medical oxygen is produced in specialised manufacturing models as industrial oxygen and purified over 93 per cent for using sufferers affected by oxygen hunger. In the circumstances of Covid-19, severely sick sufferers want oxygen help as they fail to utilise environmental oxygen of their respiration.

Oxygen want of Covid-19 sufferers fluctuate relying on the severity of their sickness. On a median, lower than 10 per cent Covid-19 sufferers want oxygen help. Fewer variety of Covid-19 sufferers require utilization of excessive circulation nasal cannula (HFNC).


An common grownup particular person inhales and exhales about seven to eight litres of air whereas resting in a minute. This is about 11,000 litres of air per day. Inhaled air incorporates 21 per cent oxygen (environmental composition) and exhaled air incorporates about 15 per cent oxygen. The distinction is absorbed by the lungs. If there’s a scarcity, it must be supplemented.

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Covid-19 in extreme circumstances reduces the capability of the lungs to soak up oxygen naturally out there throughout respiration.


Doctors treating Covid-19 sufferers say medical oxygen complement is required when oxygen degree dips under 90 per cent. They prescribe a self-test for oxygen degree — six-minute stroll.

A Covid-19 patient ought to undertake a six-minute stroll. They can verify oxygen degree at the beginning of the stroll and measure it once more on the ending time. If the oxygen degree reveals drop as a substitute of an enchancment and if the distinction is of three or extra per cent, it’s a warning signal.

If the patient finds problem in ending six-minute stroll and feels breathlessness, it’s a warning signal that the physique is ravenous of oxygen. Medical oxygen help is critical below the steering of medical doctors.


Each Covid-19 patient is completely different from the remaining. Among those that want oxygen complement, some might require one to 2 litres of oxygen per minute. Factoring in wastage in oxygen provide and utilisation capability of the lungs for the time being, this requirement might translate into three to 4 litres of medical oxygen per minute.

But there might be sufferers requiring HFNC help. Their oxygen requirement might be 60 litres per minute or 3,600 litres per hour. In some circumstances, medical doctors say, the oxygen requirement want can go as much as 86,000 litres per day per patient.


A typical oxygen cylinder lasts about 4 hours for sufferers requiring HFNC help. In the backdrop of oxygen provide scarcity, there’s a lengthy outdoors oxygen refilling centres in a number of states.

This has pushed the demand for oxygen concentrators very excessive. There is acute shortage of oxygen concentrators and stories of black-marketing of the machine are widespread. Oxygen concentrators use environmental oxygen to provide concentrated or purified oxygen to be inhaled utilizing a cannula.

Many individuals are utilizing oxygen concentrators at dwelling for remoted Covid-19 sufferers. Oxygen concentrators assist enhance oxygen ranges within the physique, however medical doctors say in solely these circumstances through which Covid-19 sufferers require two-three litres of medical oxygen per minute. If the patient nonetheless feels breathlessness, she ought to be hospitalised.

The medical doctors treating Covid-19 sufferers say that the circumstances of any higher requirement of oxygen by sufferers wants hospitalisation as there are various different components than simply the oxygen degree that must be accounted for in managing the coronavirus an infection.

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