On a basic level, oxygen is a gas that is essential for human life. Every cell in your body needs oxygen in order to function properly. Oxygen is present in the air we breathe, and it is also necessary for many chemical reactions that occur in our bodies.
While oxygen is necessary for life, too much or too little oxygen can be dangerous. That's why it's important to have oxygen available at your medical center in case of an emergency. Here's what you need to know.
Are there different types of oxygen?
There are two main types of oxygen: medical oxygen and industrial oxygen. Medical oxygen is used for therapeutic purposes, while industrial oxygen is used for welding, metal production, and other industrial applications.
How is oxygen administered?
When oxygen is used to help a patient in a medical setting it is called oxygen therapy. Oxygen can be administered in two main ways, including:
- Inhalation. A mask or nasal cannula is used to deliver oxygen directly to the lungs. This is the most common method of oxygen therapy.
- Intravenous. Oxygen can be delivered directly to the bloodstream through a vein. This method is used when a patient is unable to breathe on their own or when they need a high concentration of oxygen.
What are the benefits of oxygen therapy?
Oxygen therapy can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Heart failure
- Hypoxia (low blood oxygen levels)
- Respiratory distress syndrome
- Smoke inhalation
Additionally, oxygen therapy can help you breathe more easily and reduce your fatigue when you are ill or recovering from surgery.
How is oxygen supplied to a medical center?
Oxygen is typically supplied to a medical center by an oxygen tank. An oxygen tank is a metal cylinder that stores oxygen under high pressure. Oxygen tanks come in a variety of sizes, from small portable tanks to large stationary tanks.
Is oxygen flammable?
Yes, oxygen is a flammable gas. Medical-grade oxygen, however, is 99.5% pure and does not contain enough other flammable gases to create a fire hazard. It is still important to be careful when using oxygen, as it can accelerate the spread of fire.
How do you properly store oxygen?
Oxygen should be stored in a cool, dry place. It should also be kept away from heat sources and flammable materials. When not in use, oxygen tanks should be turned off and the valves should be closed.
If you need oxygen for your medical facility or healthcare center, talk to your medical gas supplier today.