Medical oxygen plays an essential role in delivering patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some therapies require large quantities of oxygen or its use in areas of healthcare facilities not designed for oxygen use, which can create oxygen-enriched atmospheres containing greater than 23.5% oxygen. Although oxygen itself does not burn, in oxygen-enriched atmospheres, materials can be easily ignited by ignition sources such as friction, open flames, heated surgical equipment, or electrical equipment. To avoid incidents involving oxygen and oxygen-enriched atmospheres, it is important that healthcare personnel handling and using these gases and associated equipment understand the associated risks and mitigation practices.
This poster, provided by the Compressed Gas Association, provides basic safety information for healthcare environments where medical oxygen is in use. It includes critical steps that healthcare facilities can take to reduce the risk of medical oxygen fires.