Exhale

The official blog of the Lung Institute.

Oxygen Therapy at Home: Tips for Safe Use

Oxygen Therapy at Home: Tips for Safe Use

Doctors often prescribe oxygen therapy at home for people with chronic lung disease and low blood oxygen levels. Doctors and COPD patients keep a close eye on blood oxygen levels. Oxygen is essential to a properly functioning body. Every cell, organ and tissue in your body needs enough oxygen. Healthy oxygen levels help keep your body working at its best.

However, for people with COPD and other chronic lung diseases, maintaining a healthy blood oxygen level can be difficult. Chronic lung diseases make it hard for people to breathe normally and get enough oxygen from the air. When you use oxygen therapy, it helps you maintain a healthier blood oxygen level. While oxygen therapy at home is safe, it’s still important to follow safety guidelines. Check out these basic safety tips for oxygen therapy at home.

Oxygen Therapy at Home Safety Tips 101

If your doctor has prescribed oxygen therapy at home, then it’s important to follow simple safety tips. These safety tips can be used regardless of the type of oxygen equipment you have. While oxygen itself is not flammable or combustible, oxygen may act as an accelerant and make everything in an oxygen-rich environment burn faster and hotter. Following safety guidelines helps you ensure that you safely receive the most out of your oxygen therapy at home.

Avoid Open Flames

Oxygen Therapy at Home: Tips for Safe Use

Since oxygen can cause things to burn faster and hotter, avoiding open flames may seem obvious. However, open flames are more common than you might think. For example, burning a candle in your home is considered an open flame. In general, it’s advised to stay at least 5-10 feet away from gas stoves, lighted fireplaces, woodstoves, candles and other sources of open flames. In addition, keep at least 6 feet away from any source of fire while dining at restaurants.

Use Caution in the Kitchen

Everyone must cook sometimes. So, using caution as you cook remains especially important for people using oxygen therapy at home. Don’t wear loose fitting clothing or long sleeves while cooking. Also, keep oxygen equipment away from any sources of heat, including the stove top and oven. Certain cooking materials, such as oil and grease, are highly flammable. Avoid splattering grease and oil because it can catch fire easily and burn quickly in the presence of oxygen. Microwaves are one of the safest kitchen appliances you can use while on oxygen. In general, keep oxygen 6 feet away from sources of heat.

Stay Away from Electrical Equipment

Besides direct heat, sparks from electrical equipment can be hazardous around oxygen therapy at home. Avoid using electric razors and electric toothbrushes while using oxygen. Also, don’t power your oxygen equipment with extension cords. In addition to avoiding electric razors and electric toothbrushes, keep the following items 6 feet away from your oxygen:

  • Toys with electric motors
  • Electric baseboard heaters
  • Electric space heaters
  • Electric Blankets
  • Electric fireplaces

Don’t Smoke and Avoid People Who Are Smoking

Oxygen Therapy at Home: Tips for Safe Use

As mentioned earlier, oxygen makes things burn faster and hotter. Oxygen saturates an environment, including bedding, clothing and hair. So, a small flame, heat source or spark has the potential to ignite oxygen equipment.

When you use oxygen therapy, the tubing that delivers your oxygen to you goes from your tank to your nose. To bring a lit lighter or flame anywhere near your oxygen equipment and body is extremely dangerous.

Nobody should smoke in a room, car or anywhere near where you are using oxygen. In addition, the person using oxygen therapy at home should not smoke either.

Post no smoking signs all around your home and in any room where oxygen therapy is used. Ask friends or family who continue to smoke to only smoke outside and far away from your home.

Keep Your Oxygen Tank Secure

Many types of oxygen equipment are bulky and heavy. This makes them prone to tipping over. Even the smaller portable oxygen concentrators can become cumbersome. For the longevity of your oxygen tanks and cylinders, make sure to store them in well-ventilated places where they can be properly secured.

For people who use compressed oxygen tanks, the contents inside the tanks are under pressure. Should the valve at the top become damaged or begin to leak, the oxygen could spray out of the tank very rapidly and turn the tank into a projectile missile. For safety, compressed oxygen cylinders must be placed in a secure position or attached to a carrier.

Moving Forward with Oxygen Therapy at Home

Following these safety tips for oxygen therapy at home will help you stay safe and ensure you receive your prescribed amount of oxygen. Always use your oxygen therapy at home exactly as prescribed by your doctor. In addition, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific type of oxygen therapy. If you’re unsure or have questions about using your oxygen therapy at home, talk with your doctor or oxygen supplier.

Under the supervision of their doctor, some people have been able to reduce their oxygen therapy use after having stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy may promote healing from within the lungs and has the potential to improve quality of life. If you or a loved one has COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis or another type of chronic lung disease and would like to learn more about stem cell treatment options, contact us at (800) 729-3065.

Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.



* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

Under current FDA guidelines and regulations 1271.10 and 1271.15, the Lung Institute complies with all necessary requirements for operation. The Lung Institute is firmly in accordance with the conditions set by the FDA for exemption status and conducts itself in full accordance with current guidelines. Any individual who accesses Lung Institute's website for information is encouraged to speak with his or her primary physician for treatment suggestions and conclusive evidence. All information on this site should be used for educational and informational use only.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and stem cell procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.