Overview of oxygen sources

Contributors: Sky Vanderburg, Michael Lipnick, MD

Date last updated: Nov 28, 2022

Medical gas color coding standards

WHO-UNICEF technical specifications and guidance for oxygen therapy devices. Geneva: World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2019 (WHO medical device technical series). License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO

How to get an oxygen cylinder ready for use, by WHO 2021

Oxygen concentrator setup and maintenance

How to get a portable oxygen concentrator ready to use

by WHO, 2022

How to clinically use an oxygen concentrator

by WHO, 2022

Splitting an oxygen concentrator to multiple patients.

How to perform corrective maintenance on an oxygen concentrator, by WHO 2021

How to perform preventative maintenance on an oxygen concentrator, by WHO 2021

How to decontaminate an oxygen concentrator

by WHO, 2022

Strengths and challenges for PSA/VSA plants

Distribution options when PSA plant is the primary O2 production source

Figure created by WHO technical consultation on oxygen access scale-up for COVID-19 by WHO CC-BY-NC-SA, 2021

Diagram showing the components of a vacuum insulated evaporator system (VIE)
by Captain-n00dle and vectorized by Wylve CC BY-SA 4.0

Distribution configurations when cryogenic "liquid" oxygen is the primary production source

Figure created by WHO technical consultation on oxygen access scale-up for COVID-19 by WHO CC-BY-NC-SA, 2021

Liquid oxygen freezing

This image shows the impact of surge and temperature. Icing on evaporation coils reduces heat exchange and plant output and must be addressed and planned for in advance.
Image source: Chatburn RL, Branson RD. Shortages and Vulnerabilities of Hospital Oxygen Systems. Respir Care. 2022 Aug;67(8):1002-1010. doi: 10.4187/respcare.09853. Epub 2022 Jun 7. PMID: 35882443.

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