Tools of the trade: OT-Elite 8 oxygen concentrator

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1290063410_PPReview by Stephanie Robertson, Brudine Veterinary Hospital, Charnwood, ACT

In the past, we had all our oxygen needs fulfilled by the delivery of oxygen cylinders. Even though we still use these cylinders, now the majority of our oxygen is produced by this machine.

What’s good about it This unit is simply plugged into a power point and it concentrates oxygen from the surrounding air. It removes all the carbon dioxide and impurities and produces oxygen at 94 per cent purity. It can deliver up to eight litres of oxygen per minute. The machine is portable with attached wheels to make it easy to move to other rooms. It has a display that shows the purity of the oxygen and a warning sound if it’s not working optimally. We use the concentrator for all our oxygen needs except for CPR. There isn’t enough pressure to fill the bag quickly enough when you are breathing for the patient. In that situation, we still use compressed oxygen. Maintenance is just a matter of changing a filter once a week. It doesn’t take up much room and is fairly quiet when it’s running. We have it attached directly to our anaesthetic machine and turn it on about half an hour before surgery. It then gets turned off at the end of the day. It’s a big improvement to relying solely on oxygen bottles and it works out much cheaper.

What’s not so good You have to be careful to set up the machine correctly. Initially, we had it set to produce four litres of oxygen per minute but we were only using two litres of oxygen per minute. This created too much pressure in the machine and the oxygen purity went down. As soon as we adjusted the settings, everything was fine.

Where did you get it Vetquip (www.vetquip.com.au).

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