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Oxygen safety

COPD - oxygen safety; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - oxygen safety; Chronic obstructive airways disease - oxygen safety; Emphysema - oxygen safety; Heart failure - oxygen-safety; Palliative care - oxygen safety; Hospice - oxygen safety

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Description

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.

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.

Keep oxygen 6 feet (2 meters) away from:

Be Careful in the Kitchen

Be careful with your oxygen when you cook.

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. Products that are safe include:

Avoid tripping over oxygen tubing.

Related Information

Lung surgery
Pediatric heart surgery
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Interstitial lung disease
Pneumonia - adults (community acquired)
Bronchiolitis
Breathing difficulty
Bronchiolitis - discharge
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - adults - discharge
Pneumonia in children - discharge
Pediatric heart surgery - discharge
Interstitial lung disease - adults - discharge
Pneumonia in adults - discharge
COPD - control drugs
COPD - quick-relief drugs
Using oxygen at home
Traveling with breathing problems
Lung surgery - discharge
Using oxygen at home - what to ask your doctor

References

American Thoracic Society website. Oxygen therapy. www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/oxygen-therapy.pdf. Updated April 2016. Accessed February 28, 2018.

COPD Foundation website. Oxygen therapy. www.copdfoundation.org/What-is-COPD/Living-with-COPD/Oxygen-Therapy.aspx. Updated June 2015. Accessed February 28, 2018.

National Fire Protection Association website. Medical oxygen safety. www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/OxygenSafety.ashx. Updated July 2016. Accessed January 21, 2019.

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Review Date: 2/18/2018  

Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. 01-21-19: Editorial update.

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