The History of Oxygen Concentrators & Their Future!
Home oxygen therapy has come a long way in the past 300 years.
Oxygen concentrators dramatically changed oxygen therapy and how effective of a treatment it was.
The actual oxygen element wasn’t discovered until 1772, but since then we’ve made leaps and bounds in how we use it.
Carl Whilhelm Scheele is credited for first recognizing oxygen as a chemical, which revolutionized how people thought about using oxygen.
After the discovery of oxygen it was about 100 years before people figured out how to use it in medical situations.
The first recorded use of oxygen as a medical treatment was in 1885 when Dr. George Holtzapple gave oxygen to a patient with pneumonia.
Within a few years, people had figured out how to store small amounts of oxygen to intermittently administer to patients. Crude, but effective, these were the humble begins of the powerful and modern oxygen concentrators we known today.
After this, oxygen continued to be used where possible, mostly to treat respiratory illnesses.
Modern Increases In Oxygen Use
Medical oxygen use didn’t make any huge leaps until about the 1950’s. It was then, people had figured out how to administer oxygen to patients traveling in ambulances, which became the first form of portable oxygen therapy.
It wasn’t until the 1970’s that oxygen therapy could be used in your home. Oxygen concentrators designed for home use were invented in the early 1970’s.
Before this, home oxygen therapy was a quite a hassle. Home oxygen therapy at this time required using small cryogenic liquid oxygen systems or high-pressure oxygen cylinders.
Thanks to the invention of oxygen concentrators for home use, these cylinders and liquid oxygen systems began to phases out and the durable medical equipment industry started to boom heading into the 1980’s.
Companies like Bendix Corporation and Union Carbide Corporation were early manufacturers of oxygen concentrators and contributed to the boom of the industry.
From the 1980’s until now, oxygen concentrators have focused on two things: improving performance and shrinking. The demand for devices that suited active lifestyles skyrocketed after portable oxygen systems became popular.
Thanks to advancements in medicine, people are now prescribed oxygen therapy much earlier than before. This means there are a lot of young people who have been put on oxygen therapy who wish to maintain their active lifestyle.
Now, oxygen concentrators are small and convenient enough to be used while on an airplane, in the car or even on a bike ride! There tons of options available when it comes to oxygen concentrators, both for portable or home use.
Oxygen concentrators like the Respironics EverFlo are so simple, easy to use and are even quiet while running. This is pretty impressive considering we only found out about oxygen as a chemical in 1772!