Liquid oxygen is a method of oxygen delivery that saves space while providing ample oxygen supplies. For oxygen users, this means more flexibility and convenience.
Oxygen in a liquid form is very cold (approximately -297°F ), and requires storage in special insulated containers. In its liquid form, oxygen is highly compressed. This means that one liter equals 860 gaseous liters. Obviously, in a liquid concentrator, something has to happen to turn the liquid into a gas prior to using it.
Part of any liquid oxygen system is a humidifier bottle and an adaptor that mixes water into the oxygen before it is inhaled. Liquid oxygen requires vaporization to go into a gaseous form. Additionally, the humidifier helps to hydrate the nose, mouth, and throat. Do not use tap water in the humidifier, however, due to its high mineral content. Liquid oxygen containers do not need a power source for operation. Additionally, they operate very quietly, and have few moving parts, making them somewhat more durable.
A Liquid O2 system set-up works well for individuals who are still active and desire a way to fill their own portable tanks as needed. Commonly, home-delivered liquid O2 acts as the primary oxygen resource for the patient. Additionally, portable oxygen units can be filled using the liquid system, allowing for increased mobility for patients on oxygen therapy. Many portable units can last for up to 10 hours, depending upon concentration and usage.
Liquid respiratory units require regular refilling, thus users must understand how to read the reservoir level indicators so that they always have sufficient oxygen on hand. It provides a safe method of oxygen storage, and is under less pressure than typical compressed oxygen tanks. Because of its safety and convenience, liquid is a popular choice for home oxygen therapy use.