Home Oxygen Could Raise Burn Risk: Experts
MONDAY, Feb. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Use of home oxygen in the United States has risen over the past decade, which has led to an increase in the number of patients with medical oxygen-related burn injuries, according to experts at the Burn Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
"Medical oxygen is 100 percent oxygen. This can raise the oxygen levels inside a structure causing many items that would not normally burn to more easily ignite and burn hotter and faster," Donna Joyner, a registered nurse in Trauma/Burn Outreach, said in a medical center news release.
"Burns resulting from the misuse of home oxygen can be life threatening; however, they are preventable," she added.
Joyner and the U.S. Fire Administration offer the following safety tips for the use of home oxygen:
Never smoke in a home where medical oxygen is in use. "No smoking" signs should be posted inside and outside the home.
All ignition sources -- matches, lighters, candles, gas stoves, appliances, electric razors and hair dryers -- should be kept at least 10 feet away from the point where the oxygen comes out.
Do not wear oxygen while cooking. Oils, grease and petroleum products can spontaneously ignite when exposed to high levels of oxygen. Also, do not use oil-based lotions, lip balm or aerosol sprays.
Homes with medical oxygen must have working smoke alarms that are tested monthly.
Keep a fire extinguisher within reach. If a fire occurs, turn off the oxygen and leave the home.
Develop a fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room and an outside meeting place. Practice the escape plan at least twice a year.
The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia has more about medical oxygen safety.
SOURCE: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, news release, Jan. 26, 2012Related Articles
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