When taking care of the elderly ,it is important to be aware of home safety tips for seniors using oxygen. This includes being prepared for an electrical outage. An oxygen patient who uses an oxygen system that runs on electricity must have a back-up supply of oxygen that will last until power is restored. Another alternative is a back up generator.
Oxygen Safety Checklist
Taking care of the elderly oxygen safety guidelines:
- Keeps a list of important emergency numbers including the oxygen supplier, doctor, hospital, in large print near the phones in the house.
- It is important to that you have a back up oxygen cylinder or a back up generator in case of loss of electrical power or oxygen concentrator failure
- Use oxygen only as directed
- No Smoking around oxygen. Post “No Smoking” signs in the home
- Store the extra supply of oxygen cylinders away from heath and direct sunlight Do not allow oxygen to freeze or overheat
- Do not allow empty oxygen cylinders to be placed near any heat source
- Keep oil/petroleum products (such as Vaseline, oily lotions, face creams, or hair dressings), grease and flammable material away from oxygen. Wash your hands well after touching these types of products as you do not want them to come into contact with the fittings or hoses.
- Avoid using aerosols (such as room deodorizers) near oxygen
- Dust the oxygen cylinder with a cotton cloth and avoid draping or covering the system with any material
- Keep open flames (such as gas stoves, and lighted candles) at least 10 feet away from the oxygen source
- Have electrical equipment properly grounded and avoid operating electrical appliances such as razors and hairdryers while using oxygen. Keep any electrical equipment that may spark at least 10 feet from the oxygen system.
- Use 100% cotton bed linens and clothing to prevent sparks and static electricity
- Place oxygen cylinders in appropriate stand to prevent tipping, or secured to the wall or placed on their side on the floor. Store in a well ventilated area and not under outside porches or decks or in the trunk of a car.
- Install a smoke detector in the room where the oxygen is being used and one outside the room
- Make all caregivers and the patient aware of how to use the back up generator, if there is one