Table 1

Comparison of oxygen cylinders and concentrators (adapted from Graham et al)22

Oxygen cylindersOxygen concentrators
Capital costLow (higher if including regulators and flow-meter assemblies)Moderate
Running costHigh: frequent refilling, transport and logisticsLow: power, maintenance
Power sourceNone requiredRequired, continuously
ReliabilityGood, so long as supply lastsGood, on selected models
Continuous supplyNo, limited by volume (large H-type cylinders last 2–4 days with continuous low-flow use)Yes, limited by equipment or power failure
MaintenanceMinimal: check regulators, leakageEssential: simple preventive and intermittent repairs
TrainingYes, clinical use of oxygen, care of cylinders and connectionsYes, clinical use of oxygen, care of concentrators and connections, technical maintenance