precautions while using oxygen therapy

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Precautions while using Oxygen Therapy

safety tips for preventing accidents when using oxygen therapy.
31. Oxygen safety
Oxygen makes things burn much faster. Think of what happens when you blow into a fire; it makes the flame bigger. If you are using oxygen in your home, you must take extra care to stay safe. If you have been prescribed oxygen 24 hours a day you may need a back up oxygen cylinder. Discuss with your doctor whether this is the case for you.
32. Have your home ready
Make sure you have working smoke detectors and a working fire extinguisher in your home. If you move around the house with your oxygen, you may need more than one fire extinguisher in different locations.Smoking can be very dangerous. No one should smoke in a room where you or your child is using oxygen. Put a NO SMOKING sign in every room where oxygen is used. In a restaurant, keep at least 6 feet away from any source of fire, such as a stove or fireplace.
33. Be careful in the kitchen
Be careful with your oxygen when you cook. 1 Keep oxygen away from the stove top and oven. 2 Watch out for splattering grease. It can catch fire. 3 Keep children with oxygen away from the stove top and oven. 4 Cooking with a microwave is OK.
34. Other safety tips
Do not store your oxygen in a trunk, box, or small closet. Storing your oxygen under the bed is OK if air can move freely under the bed. Keep liquids that may catch fire away from your oxygen. This includes cleaning products that contain oil, grease, alcohol, or other liquids that can burn. Do not use Vaseline or other petroleum based creams and lotions on your face or upper part of your body unless you talk to your respiratory therapist or doctor first.
35. References
American Thoracic Society. Why do I need oxygen therapy? http://www.thoracic.org/clinical/copd guidelines/for patients/why do i need oxygen therapy.php. Accessed on May 8, 2014. National Home Oxygen Patients Association. Understanding oxygen therapy: a patient guide to long term supplemental oxygen. http://www.homeoxygen.org/assets/docs/Understanding%20Oxygen%20Therapy%202013.pdf. Accessed on May 8, 2014.
36. Initial setup
You need to be informed about how to use your equipment safely and correctly. Do not accept delivery of unfamiliar equipment until your oxygen supply company has taught you how to use it. Check the label on every oxygen container before you use it. Liquid oxygen should have Oxygen Refrigerated Liquid U.S.P. on the label. Compressed oxygen cylinders should have Oxygen Compressed U.S.P. on the label. If the label of a container reads differently, do not use the container. Call your oxygen supply company immediately. Keep a new tank of oxygen available at all times. Even if you use an oxygen machine (concentrator), you will need the tank for leaving the house and during power failures. Have a back up oxygen system to use in an emergency.
37. Order a new supply of oxygen two to three days
Order a new supply of oxygen two to three days before needed or when the gauge reads 1/4 full.If a tank is used, be sure it is attached to a stable cart so it wont fall or roll. Keep a written list of what rate (how much) oxygen being used. Never increase the flow rate on your oxygen without your physicians permission or above the prescribed level.
38. Keep the phone number
Keep the phone number near of the company that brings the oxygen to your home. In the event of problems, call them. Oxygen is a safe gas as long as it is used properly. Contrary to what most people believe, oxygen will not explode. Oxygen does, however, support combustion. Therefore, any material that is already burning will burn much faster and hotter in an oxygen enriched atmosphere.
39. Using and maintaining tanks
Be sure to know how to turn the oxygen on and off, and set the flow rate. Check the tubing if you are not sure the oxygen is coming through the tube. Look for kinks, blockages, or to see if the tubing has become disconnected from the oxygen container. Also check if the oxygen is turned on. Use a water based lubricant, rather than petroleum jelly, on the lips and cheeks.
40. Patients can put a small piece of gauze
If the nasal cannula rubs the upper lip, patients can put a small piece of gauze or fabric under it for padding. There are also commercial products that make this tubing more comfortable for the nose and ears. Keep all cords and tubing neat. Do not leave cords or tubing running across an area where you or someone else may trip on it. Keep oxygen containers from becoming too hot. Store containers in an area with good air flow. Never leave an oxygen container in a car trunk or a hot vehicle.


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