Oxygen sensors are primarily used in medical care, working to monitor a patient’s oxygen level over a period of time without somebody constantly watching the patient.

They are a basic and vital piece of equipment and are crucial in life-saving machines like ventilators, anesthesia machines, incubators, and more. So, how do they work? Can they be replaced? If so, where can you find replacement oxygen sensors?

Let’s find out.

How Do Oxygen Sensors Work?

A galvanic medical oxygen sensor is an electrochemical device, powered by electro-galvanic fuel cells.

Galvanic cells are divided into four main areas: a cathode, an anode, a membrane, and an electrolyte. Oxygen molecules pass through the membrane, through the cathode, and through the electrolyte, which enables them to be analyzed and diffused at the lead anode.

This allows the sensor to measure the level of oxygen taken. In a medical setting, many of it are connected to complex equipment that will register too low or too high levels of oxygen, and dispense treatment accordingly.

At their very basic, it will set off an alert if a patient’s oxygen levels are too low. This is a very simplified explanation of how a basic medical oxygen sensor works, as there are several different forms of oxygen sensors and each one has a different application.

How Long Do Oxygen Sensors Last?

Medical oxygen sensors have a surprisingly short shelf life. Although an average oxygen sensor has enough fuel to last up to four years, it’s very rare for an oxygen sensor to last that long. In fact, galvanic oxygen sensors have a notoriously show lifespan, with their efficiency dropping after only a few months.

This is because they are generally used in higher oxygen partial pressure areas than the average room, and this has a detrimental effect on the sensor itself.

There are plenty of other factors that could affect its lifespan, like poor quality storage (a cool, dry area is recommended), damage, overuse, or even simple wear and tear.

Where Are Oxygen Sensors Used?

Medical oxygen sensors are, unsurprisingly, used in hospitals and medical clinics. You can find it in ventilators, incubators, anesthesia equipment, pulse oximeters, and more.

Some sensors are also used in-home care setups.

Where Can I Buy Oxygen Sensor Equipment?

Oxygen sensors can be easily replaced. In a medical facility, it’s very important to stay up to date with the latest sensors and equipment, as new machines may not function so well with older sensors.

For example, the SS-26 replaces MSA 806572 – https://www.sensoronics.com/products/ss-26-replaces-msa-806572. Failing to update the small pieces of equipment – like connectors, hoses, and medical sensors – could lead to the larger pieces of equipment becoming unusable or obsolete.

Like most things, you can buy it online. In fact, this may be the easiest way to make sure you get the equipment you need. Be sure to buy from a reputable medical equipment site, ideally one that offers a full warranty and satisfaction guarantee.