Using prescribed oxygen can help you avoid shortness of breath, improve sleep and mental alertness, and help you to be more active when you are living with a chronic health condition like COPD, emphysema or lung disease.

To reduce the chances of fire and other hazards, you need to follow important safety guidelines when using your oxygen unit.

Everything You Need to Know for Safe Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen DOs

Suggestions of what to do include the following:

  • Do keep sources of flame at least 5 feet away from where your oxygen unit is being used or stored. This includes cigarettes, matches, candles, fireplaces, gas burners, pipes, or anything else that could start a fire. Never smoke or use an open flame when wearing oxygen.
  • Do keep the oxygen unit at least 5 feet away from sources of heat such as space heaters, electric or gas heaters, steam pipes, furnaces and radiators.
  • Do ask the medical equipment company if you should keep the oxygen unit away from other appliances, such as TVs and radios.
  • Do turn off the oxygen unit completely when it’s not in use.
  • Do have a fire extinguisher nearby. Make sure you and others in your household know how to use it.
  • Do be careful not to trip over the oxygen tubing.

Oxygen DON’Ts

Suggestions of what not to do include the following:

  • Don’t smoke, and don’t allow others to smoke near you. Post a “No Smoking” sign in your home.
  • Don’t use aerosol sprays such as air fresheners or hairspray near the oxygen unit. Aerosols are very flammable.
  • Don’t use vapor rubs, petroleum jelly or oil-based hand lotion. These are flammable. Use water-based products instead.
  • Don’t use oxygen while cooking with gas. Ask the medical equipment company about other types of cooking.
  • Don’t oil the oxygen unit. And don’t use it with oily or greasy hands.
  • Don’t place a liquid oxygen unit on its side. The oxygen inside can evaporate. Oxygen should always be stored upright in a secured device.

We offer pulmonary care to help you reduce complications that can accompany chronic disease. Our expert respiratory therapists work with your physician to design a treatment plan tailored to your needs and abilities. Our home health care may be right for you if you are experiencing:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Acute/chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Asthma
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung cancer
  • Oxygen deficiency

Our mission is to provide you with high-quality, compassionate care, remaining sensitive to your personal circumstances and unique medical needs. Skilled nursing and rehab care provided from the comfort of your home can help you remain independent and improve quality of life by:

  • Teaching appropriate inhaler use
  • Instructing on breathing techniques
  • Monitoring for appropriate oxygen levels
  • Helping to reduce anxiety through education and practice
  • Training on energy conservation techniques to improve in-home mobility
  • Addressing nutritional needs

Find a branch near you to learn about how we can help.

By Blair Klayko