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POC: Using your Portable Oxygen Concentrator Safely

Oxygen is considered a prescribed drug. Supplemental oxygen is typically prescribed by physicians when someone’s oxygen saturation drops below 90% for a period of time. The room air that we all breathe only contains about 21% oxygen and for someone that needs supplemental oxygen, a portable oxygen concentrator may be prescribed. Using supplemental oxygen can help someone breathe much easier and it is very safe when used correctly. However, any material that is already burning will burn much faster and hotter in an oxygen-enriched environment. Below are some helpful tips when using your home or portable oxygen concentrator:

1) Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using your equipment.

2) No Smoking. DO NOT smoke or let anyone else smoke around you while you are using supplemental oxygen.

3) Make sure your smoke alarms are working in your home.

4) Do not leave your oxygen equipment turned on when it is not in use.

5) Do not let children or untrained individuals operate your oxygen equipment.

6) If you use oxygen gaseous tanks. Never leave oxygen cylinders standing upright unless it is secured by either by a cylinder cart or a cylinder rack.

7) Do not place cylinders in the trunks of cars.

8) Keep your oxygen at least 10 feet from any open flames such as candles, heat sources, gas & electric stoves or from anything that could cause a spark.

9) Do not use bedding or clothes made of wool, nylon or synthetic fabrics. Some materials can generate a spark and may cause a fire.

10) Avoid using anything flammable near the oxygen, including petrol, cleaning fluid, and aerosol cans or sprays such as fresheners or hairspray.

11) Do not allow alcoholic solutions, oil or grease to come into contact with your portable oxygen equipment. This includes petroleum-based products like petroleum jelly.

12) Ensure all electrical equipment in the vicinity of your oxygen concentrator is properly grounded.

13) Keep your portable oxygen concentrator clean and free from dust.

14) Always plug your POC (oxygen concentrator) into a grounded electrical outlet. Never use an extension cord.

15) During use, ensure your portable oxygen concentrator is in a well-ventilated area.


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