Choosing a Medical Oxygen Flow Meter
Oxygen Flow Meter Connection Types
Medical oxygen flow meters come in 6 common wall-outlet connection types:
- ⅛ NPTF
- DISS Female Hand Tight
- DISS Female Hex Nut
- Puritan Bennett
Other less common wall-outlet connection types include:
- ¼ MNPT
- ¼ NPTF
- DISS Male
Note: These connections plug into your wall outlet or regulator, make sure you are selecting the correct connection type.
Oxygen Flow Rates (LPM)
Liters Per Minute (LPM) and CC’s are used to measure oxygen flow rates. The most common oxygen flow rates for medical use are as follows:
- 0-8 LPM
- 0-15 LPM
- 0-70 LPM
Low-Flow Oxygen Flowmeters:
Pediatric and Neonatal oxygen flowmeters have lower LPM ratings. Around 3.5 LPM for Pediatric and 200cc for neonatal. Pulse Oximetry can be used to find actual blood oxygen levels.
Medical Oxygen Flowmeter Types
Medical Oxygen flowmeters come in two common styles; Thorpe Style and Dial Style.
Thorpe style is the most popular style of flowmeter. Thorpe’s make use of a clear tube LPM meter to gauge flow. With dial style flowmeters you lose the ability to see flow rates through the clear tube. Dial flowmeters rely on the dial reading that you’ve set using a click-dial.
Dial flowmeters are more simple in design, and lack the clear tube seen on Thorpe style flowmeters. Dial style flowmeters are a more durable and compact unit. They allow for use in tight spaces such as head walls, surgical booms/pendants, and nooks.
Flowmeter add-ons include; Humidifiers, Y-Blocks, and “Christmas Tree” nipples.
Medical oxygen is dry when stored in oxygen tanks. Humidifiers are used to humidify the air after passing through the flowmeter. This creates a more natural breathing experience for patients.
Flowmeter Y-Blocks allow for 2 flowmeters to connect to 1 outlet. They can be used with an oxygen or medical air flowmeter.
How to Use an Oxygen Flow Meter
Oxygen Therapy is the most common application for oxygen flow meters.
Thorpe Style Use:
Thorpe flowmeters come with a clear tube that has LPM indicators visible in the tube. A little ball moves up and down through the clear tube and aligns with the displayed LPM rates to achieve your desired LPM.
Dial Flowmeter Use:
Dial flow meters are much more simple. Once connected to the wall outlet or regulator, turn the dial to your desired flow range, and you’re all set.
Oxygen Flowmeter Brands
Quality is important when choosing an oxygen flow meter. A good supplier will provide a 3-5 year warranty on their flow meters and a return policy. Quality brands Include Amico and Western Medical.