Top 8 Tips For Using Oxygen Therapy Safely At Home
It is a fact that oxygen might appear to be a harmless gas given that we are breathing it every single day. Nevertheless, it can become quite destructive in case it is being purified at high concentrations. Oxygen therapy is a notable medical therapy for patients who require having supplemental oxygen although it is important to be cautious so as to stay away from any injury. In the following paragraphs, we will be mentioning some vital safety precautions which one must consider in case he is on oxygen therapy.
1. Comprehending Your Requirements
The rate at which extra oxygen should be taken in by you is known as the flow rate and this is an extremely important number. Your physician might use the results of an ABG (arterial blood gas) test for comprehending the proper flow rate in your case. This is a way to measure the amount of oxygen present in your blood.
Once the flow rate has been determined by your doctor, it is important for you to follow it meticulously. While a lack of oxygen can damage your brain and heart, an excessive amount of oxygen can likewise be dangerous. This will send a message to the brain to start breathing slowly.
2. Talk to Your Friends And Family Members in Advance
In case you are recommended to go for oxygen therapy by your lung doctor, it will be prudent for you to go home and talk with your near and dear ones regarding how your life will be affected by it. Allow them to understand that oxygen will help you to remain active and you will be able to perform all the regular activities as well. Ask for their help while you start adapting to use the home as well as portable oxygen. Conversing to them in this manner will help in keeping your life normal in the long run.
3. Stay Away from Open Flames
It will be a good idea to stay away from open flames given that oxygen helps stuff to burn hotter and faster. Nevertheless, open flames are very common at present than what you may think. For instance, an open flame can be caused by burning a candle in your residence. Make it a point to stay a minimum of 5 to 10 feet away from lighted fireplaces, gas stoves, candles, woodstoves, as well as other open flame sources. Moreover, while consuming your food at restaurants make sure to stay at least 5 feet away from the source of any fire.
4. Be Careful About Usage
Oxygen therapy might be required by you for a significant portion of your life. In case your levels of oxygen are insufficient even while resting, you might require oxygen therapy at all times. Even though you do not require it while resting, you will need it anytime you are eating, walking, or sleeping.
You might find it tempting to take the mask off; however, refrain from doing so. Always keep the mask on. Your breathing is going to improve after you become accustomed to the treatment. It will provide you with some significant reason for making use of oxygen therapy.
5. Select The Proper Type of Oxygen
You will obtain supplemental oxygen from any oxygen therapy manufacturer in a couple of forms at present:
- Compressed oxygen is available for usage at home in large aluminum or steel tanks. It is also available in smaller tanks which you will find it easy to take home along with you in case you are away from your residence.
- Liquid oxygen is available in smaller containers as compared to compressed oxygen, and therefore, they will take up less space. This will help you to carry liquid oxygen easily while traveling. However, this form of oxygen is going to evaporate over time. This implies that you have to be more precise regarding your requirements so that you do not waste it.
6. Be Careful in The Kitchen
The kitchen is the place where we cook our food items. It is essential for individuals to be cautious in the kitchen particularly for those who are using oxygen therapy at their own residences. While cooking, do not put on any loose-fitting garments or long sleeves. Moreover, it will be a sensible idea to keep the oxygen equipment away from the heat sources including the oven and the stovetop. In fact, certain cooking materials like grease and oil are extremely flammable. Try not to splatter oil and grease because it will catch fire very easily particularly when oxygen is present. Microwaves can be considered to be one of the safest appliances that you can use in the kitchen while cooking. In general, make it a point to keep oxygen at a distance of at least 6 feet from the heat source.
7. Do Not Smoke And Avoid Individuals Who Are Smoking
It is a fact that oxygen helps things to burn quicker and hotter. Oxygen will be able to saturate an environment including clothing, hair, and bedding. Therefore, any small flame, spark, or heat source will be able to ignite oxygen equipment.
While making use of oxygen therapy, the tubing delivering oxygen to the patient goes from the tank to his nose. It is quite dangerous to bring any flame close to your oxygen equipment as well as the body.
It is advisable for anyone not to smoke within the room, vehicle, or at any place where you are making use of oxygen. Apart from this, the individual using oxygen therapy must not smoke as well. Try to post “no smoking” symbols all around the room where oxygen therapy is being used. Ask your family members and buddies who are in the habit of smoking to smoke only outside your residence at a safe distance.
8. Keep The Oxygen Tank Safe
It is a fact that many forms of oxygen equipment are quite heavy and bulky. In this way, they can be easily tipped over. Even those oxygen concentrators which are portable and small in size can become quite cumbersome in the long run. Make it a point to store the concentrators in properly ventilated areas so as to enhance their longevity effectively.
For individuals who are making use of oxygen tanks that are compressed, the contents within the tanks are always under pressure. In case the valve positioned at the top starts leaking or becomes damaged, it is possible for oxygen to spray out from the tank very quickly. This is going to convert the oxygen tank into a projectile missile. It is important to place compressed oxygen cylinders in a safe position at all times for ensuring safety.