How To Use an Oxygen Tank

Lady holding onto oxygen tank

Are you having problems with your lungs, heart or blood? Did you meet with an accident and were injured? Do you have difficulty in breathing when you travel by plane or when you go to high altitudes? Well, there is just one thing that is clear, you will need supplemental oxygen. Supplemental oxygen is used as a medical therapy for patients running short of breath, due to problems in their health or because of strenuous activities that they cannot handle but have to or like to do. Supplemental oxygen can be in liquid form, in compressed gas form, or from an oxygen concentrator. The liquid form of your supplemental oxygen comes in an insulated bottle, while oxygen in compressed gas form comes in an oxygen tank.  The oxygen from a concentrator comes in an oxygen cylinder.

Now let’s orient ourselves on how to use an oxygen tank. Using an oxygen tank requires utmost care. First of all, here are the things you need to have before you could use supplemental oxygen:

  • Oxygen tank
  • Holder used to keep the tank in place.
  • Regulator or valve used to turn on or off the supply of the oxygen
  • Flow meter to let the user know how much oxygen is being released
  • Gauge or content indicator for monitoring the content of the oxygen tank. It tells us how much oxygen is left and if it is time to have it refilled or time to make an order for the next one to avoid running out of supplemental oxygen
  • Cannula, which is a plastic tubing that is lightweight and flexible
  • Gas mask

After preparing all these things and making them available, let us start setting up the oxygen tank.

  1. Place the oxygen tank in a cool place.
  2. Secure the tank in its holder to keep it from falling over.
  3. Install the regulator or valve so that the tank can be turned on or off.
  4. Check for leaks.
  5. Install the flow meter so we will have an indicator on how much oxygen is being released for the patient. Always check on how much oxygen the patient is getting, because too much of it may do more harm than good.
  6. Install the Cannula in the flow meter. This tubing is then used by the patient in getting the much needed oxygen. Make sure that this tubing is always clean. Some prefer to attach a gas mask to make positioning of the tubing easier.
  7. Install the gauge or content indicator. This is very useful in determining how much the tank still contains. If the indicator is in the last quarter, then it is time to order a replacement. Make sure that the replacement is delivered before you run out of your current supply.

Now that your oxygen tank has been set up, your supplemental oxygen is ready and available for you anytime the need arises.  Remember, using an oxygen tank requires the utmost care. Have only the needed supply, check on leaks, and check your gauge and indicators.


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