Use of an oxygen concentrator in a Nigerian neonatal unit: economic implications and reliability

Ann Trop Paediatr. 2002 Sep;22(3):209-12. doi: 10.1179/027249302125001499.


A 3-year experience of using an oxygen concentrator in a Nigerian newborn unit and economic appraisal of its effectiveness is reported. The oxygen concentrator is a device that absorbs nitrogen from ambient air, with a resultant oxygen concentration of 85 to 95% at different flow rates. The oxygen concentrator met our oxygen needs which averaged 18 hours a day, and had a huge cost advantage over the oxygen cylinders. The cost of oxygen via cylinder for just one patient for a year exceeds the initial capital outlay for a concentrator. The Puritan-Bennett oxygen concentrator has a lifespan of at least 7 years and is virtually maintenance-free for the 1st 26,400 hours of use, after which some major components might need replacement. We conclude that in developing countries oxygen concentrators are a more cost-effective, reliable and convenient means of oxygen supply than oxygen cylinders, and recommend their use where there is a high demand for oxygen.

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries*
  • Drug Costs*
  • Humans
  • Infant Care / economics
  • Infant Care / instrumentation*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Nigeria
  • Nurseries, Hospital / economics
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / economics
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / methods