Health care facilities around the world are working to treat patients affected by the respiratory illness Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The increasing numbers of patients leads to a greater demand for medical gases, especially medical oxygen. Some health care facilities now require medical oxygen flow rates that are greater than the capacity of their existing medical oxygen supply systems. This leads to a need to increase the flow capacity of the medical oxygen supply system. Some new temporary health care facilities (i.e., field hospitals) are now coming on-line and need a temporary supply of medical oxygen.
This Safety Alert addresses measures that may be considered to increase the capacity of existing medical oxygen supply systems. It also addresses measures that may be considered when installing temporary medical oxygen supply systems. The goal is to ensure that all measures considered provide a reliable medical oxygen supply system. The measures considered must not cause hazards to the health care facility patients, health care facility personnel, or medical gas supplier personnel.