If you have an oxygen cylinder at home, think twice before lighting up a cracker this Diwali. While the state government has permitted only burst green crackers, doctors warn that bursting any crackers with oxygen cylinder rent in houses is dangerous. Doctors said that oxygen cylinders, which many people have been purchasing or taking on rent for Covid-positive patients under home care, are susceptible and can blow up like a bomb.
Oxygen is a kind of gas necessary for human beings’ survival. Even a healthy human can die within three minutes without oxygen. People with breathing disorders may require extra oxygen if they cannot receive enough oxygen from the air in a natural way.
Oxygen therapy is a treatment that provides patients with extra oxygen to breathe in. It is also termed supplemental oxygen. This kind of therapy is only available through the prescription of an authorized doctor or health care provider.
Who can benefit from home oxygen therapy?
Home oxygen therapy can be helpful for people who do not have enough oxygen in their blood.
It can help with conditions such as:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- pulmonary fibrosis
- heart failure
- severe long-term asthma
- pulmonary hypertension
- cystic fibrosis
- breathing problems caused by a combination of being obese and having an underlying condition
- No smoking. A patient on oxygen should never smoke. Smoking while on oxygen is a 100% danger to the patient and anyone nearby.
- No e-cigarettes/vaporizing with medical oxygen. These have a “spark” within and can ignite.
- Always keep oxygen cylinders at least five feet from gas stoves, candles, electrical devices, or other heat sources.
- Do not use oil, grease, petroleum-based lotions, or creams near the oxygen equipment. These materials are highly flammable and will quickly burn when near oxygen.
- Do not use electric razors, candles, sparking toys, or other potential ignition sources while using oxygen.
- Always secure your oxygen tank in a fixed position at home or a safe place when using portable oxygen in public.
- Draping a blanket over an oxygen concentrator or hiding it in a confined space like a closet allows for a dangerous buildup of pure oxygen.
Using home oxygen therapy
The main ways of using home oxygen therapy are through:
- short tubes placed in your nostrils – this is called a nasal cannula
- a mask over your nose and mouth
Some people may need a tube inserted into an opening in front of their neck, a tracheostomy, or placed in their mouth and down their windpipe.
Three types of devices can be used to give you oxygen:
- an oxygen concentrator
- large oxygen cylinders
- portable cylinders
Oxygen is not flammable or explosive, but oxygen concentrators and tanks infuse the environment with oxygen. As a result, they can cause fires to burn much more rapidly than usual. Keep oxygen equipment such as tanks away from any source of an open flame.
Ask your doctor or home oxygen supplier about safe cooking practices if you use a gas range. Above all, do not allow anyone to smoke in your oxygen-rich environment.