In the last blog we discussed ‘How to know if you need home oxygen,’ and ‘How to use oxygen safely in your home.’ As we dive into the next set of tips for safe oxygen transportation, it is important to remember the crucial role that oxygen plays in improving the quality of life for many individuals. Whether at home or on the go, understanding the best practices for handling and transporting 02 is essential to ensure your well-being and peace of mind. So, as we explore these next tips, let’s keep our focus on maintaining a safer mobile oxygen experience, allowing you to breathe easier wherever life takes you.
Transporting Oxygen safely: The dos and don’ts
- If you are transporting oxygen tanks for yourself or a loved one, it is important to firmly secure the tanks to the floor of the back seat or place your oxygen upright and secure it with a seat belt if possible. Never leave the tanks to roll around in the trunk of a car or the bed of a truck. Tanks that are unsecured could tip over and roll around. If a large cylinder is knocked over and its valve breaks off, it can accelerate to 40MPH in 0.5 seconds. It has the power to break through two cinderblock walls.
- Leave your windows open at least an inch to allow for adequate air circulation.
- Never leave your oxygen in a hot car. Oxygen supports combustion, and even a tiny spark or heat source can lead to fire or explosion.
- Prohibit smoking or vaping in your car while transporting your oxygen. Vaping devices can generate heat and sparks, making them particularly dangerous in areas where oxygen is in use.
- Consider notifying your auto insurance provider if you are transporting your portable oxygen tanks in your vehicle.
In summary of parts one and two of home oxygen therapy, the following is a short personal story from a senior care client about the daily hazards of oxygen in the home and the importance of safety in oxygen use. *Names changed for confidentiality*
As the family gathered to celebrate her granddaughter’s first birthday, Grandma Caroline beamed with joy. She loves hosting family events and seeing her many grandchildren running around with glee and excitement. She sat in her favorite kitchen table armchair, tethered to her oxygen tank, which allowed her to savor those precious moments. As she was relaxing in her chair, she noticed that her mischievous 9-year-old grandson took off racing around the room, but his excitement turned to chaos as he stumbled over the loose oxygen tubing, yanking it from the tank and nearly ripping it off Caroline’s ears in the process. The entire family gasped as her daughter, Kate, rushed to her mother’s aid. Thankfully, ears were still attached, and no damage done to the oxygen tank or tubing. Little did Caroline know that this mishap was just a precursor to an almost explosive situation that was only minutes away.
Once everyone was settled at the table, it was time to bring out the birthday cake. The entire family was siting in eager anticipation to sing “happy birthday” as the cake was brought to the table. The cake adorned with a single lit candle was placed right beside Grandma Caroline. Everyone was so focused on the birthday cake, but it was Caroline that first realized the danger. Thankfully, the cake was moved to a safe distance, away from the highly concentrated oxygen, before an accident took place. It was the two close calls with Grandma’s oxygen that made them all realize the importance of educating children and the family about oxygen safety, even amidst the most innocent and cherished moments of life.