Analgesic Gases and Oxygen Provider Level 2 (VTQ)

62 videos, 2 hours and 49 minutes

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Hazards of using oxygen

Video 20 of 62
2 min 25 sec
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There are certain hazards when breathing medical oxygen since prolonged use can cause oxygen toxicity. These can be either central nervous system oxygen toxicity or pulmonary oxygen toxicity. However, both conditions are rare.  Medical oxygen strongly supports combustion; it is one of the three components of the fire triangle and will cause substances to burn vigorously, including some materials that do not normally burn in the air. It is highly dangerous in the presence of oils, greases, tarry substances, and many plastics due to the risk of spontaneous combustion in the presence of oxygen in relatively high concentrations.

You must ensure that all equipment is correctly cleaned, maintained, and stored in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. A build-up of carbons on equipment added to the oxygen and a spark could cause an explosion or fire.  When using oxygen inside, you should ensure that the room is well ventilated to avoid a build-up in the room which could increase fire risks. There should be no smoking, flames, or sparks when using oxygen.

If you are using an AED there is also a risk of sparking,  so remove the oxygen mask from the patient when delivering the shock. It only needs to be removed during the shock; it is safe to use when delivering breaths.   Only use equipment that is rated for use with oxygen as the equipment must be safe to work with medical-grade oxygen.   Lay the tank down or leave as the manufacturer recommends to avoid the tank from falling over and getting damaged.

Store equipment correctly in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations and ensure any building or vehicle correctly displays warning signs. It should be stored away from direct sunlight in a dry, dust-free environment.  Secure when transporting oxygen to avoid it getting damaged or falling and hurting someone.  Make sure you service all equipment when needed to ensure that it is fit for use.

In some countries, oxygen is a prescription drug, so make sure you are allowed to transport it to different countries. Oxygen is a hazardous substance and needs to be risk-assessed in any workplace to ensure safety. Risk assessments will also identify any special storage requirements and labelling requirements.