FAQs on Emergency Oxygen Units
Does Oxygen Expire?
No. The FDA has directed that expiration dating stamps are not to be applied to pressure cylinders filled with medical oxygen, thus indicating that oxygen (O2) is safe,stable, and does not expire.
Do Emergency Oxygen Units Require Maintenance?
“Routinely check if the needle is in the green and if the unit is clean”. The green “full” area indicates an adequate supply of oxygen on hand. The constant reading supply gauge is always visible and shows how much oxygen is in the cylinder. Occasionally turn the unit On/Off to confirm oxygen flow.
Is Training Beneficial for Emergency Oxygen Units?
All medical oxygen labeling is required to contain the statement, “For emergency use only when administered by properly trained personnel for oxygen deficiency and resuscitation.” The FDA does not specify what training must be completed in order to use an emergency oxygen unit, but training is beneficial. Most Emergency Oxygen units are labeled with simple 2 step instructions for use. Additional training may be obtained through AHA (American Heart Association), HSI (Health& Safety Institute), ARC (American Red Cross), NSC (National SafetyCouncil), and local Fire/Rescue Departments.
What Should I Do When My Oxygen Cylinders Are Empty?
Oxygen Cylinders are easily Replaceable/Recyclable. Most distributors sell Replaceable Cylinders filled with O2 ready-to-use. The oxygen cylinder may also be refilled with pureUSP medical oxygen by any medical/industrial gas distributor using the compressed Gas Association (CGA) #870 Pin-indexed universal coupling for oxygen. Examples of gas distributors are Airgas, Air Liquide, Linde Gas,LifeGas, Praxair. The cylinder may also be disposed/recycled when completely emptied of oxygen.
Is Emergency Oxygen Dangerous?
NO! Oxygen is non-flammable oxidizing gas and is perfectly safe when properly handled and used for first-aid emergency situations. It is contained and compressed in a high-pressure cylinder with safety pressure-relief features built into both valve and regulator. However, it does support and accelerate combustion in the vicinity.
When Should Emergency Oxygen Be Administered?
After calling 911, oxygen should be administered to a breathing victim and to a non-breathing victim during mouth-to-mask resuscitation.
Can Oxygen Ever Be Harmful in an Emergency Situation?
First-aid administration of Emergency Oxygen before EMS arrival with a simple free-breathing oral-nasal mask without titration is safe, and may be life and brain-saving.
Does Emergency Oxygen Require a Prescription?
No. The FDA states that the labeling for medical oxygen must contain the statement:
“For emergency use only when administered by properly trained personnel for oxygen deficiency and resuscitation. For all other medical applications, Rx Only.”
What is Hydrostatic Testing and When Must It Occur?
“Hydrostatic” or“Hydro” Testing terms are currently replaced by the term “Requalify”, which is performed with ultrasound. An oxygen cylinder continues to be in compliance for use until such time it is presented to the refiller to be refilled after the expiration of the compliance period allowed, whereupon the refiller must requalify the cylinder and stamp the current date. The refiller is responsible for compliance, not the owner/user. Most aluminum cylinders remain in compliance for use until presented for refill anytime more than 5 years after the manufacture date stamp or subsequent requalified date stamp.