Safe Use of Medical Gases


 
POLICY:
 
Medical gases, will be ordered on an as-needed basis from a 
reputable company, which will deliver filled containers and 
remove empty containers promptly.  Each newly-connected 
canister shall be tested for leaks at time of connection.
 
MSDS sheets provided by the medical gases company shall be 
maintained in the MSDS file.
 
Area used for storage of medical gases shall be posted in 
accordance with local regulations; necessary permits and 
licenses shall be obtained.  Medical gases shall be 
administered only on the order of a provider Staff member 
with appropriate privileges.
 
Medical gases storage shall be planned so that cylinders are  
used in the order in which they are received from the 
supplier.
 
PROCEDURE:
 
Medical Gases Safety Information
 
1.  Oxidizing gases, such as oxygen, will be stored 
    separately from flammable gases or liquids in a 
    secure storage area that is kept free of combustible 
    materials and protected from extremes of heat and 
    cold.
 
2.  Oil, grease or other flammable or dust retaining 
    materials will not be stored or used near any oxygen-
    related equipment.

3.  All potential fire hazards must be eliminated in the 
    presence of an oxygen-enriched atmosphere, i.e., no 
    smoking or open flame is permitted.
 
4.  All free-standing cylinders, whether empty or full, 
    must be properly chained or supported with a 
    cylinder stand or cart.  Cylinders are never to be 
    secured to portable or moveable apparatus, such as a 
    bed or an oxygen unit.
 
5.  Compressed gas cylinders shall be handled, stored, 
    and used in a manner that will prevent damage to the 
    valve.  Cylinders stored in an upright condition 
    will be secured on hand trucks or laid flat, blocked 
    in place.  Cylinders shall have cylinder caps 
    securely in place when the cylinder, full or empty, 
    is not in service.
 
6.  Empty cylinders are to be identified, stored 
    separately from full or partially full cylinders, 
    and never used for any purpose other than that 
    intended by the supplier.
 
7.  Only personnel trained in the proper handling of 
    cylinders, cylinder trucks and supports, and 
    cylinder-valve protection caps shall be involved 
    with the use and transport of equipment.
 
8.  Posting Requirements: 
 
* NFPA 99, Section 8-6.4.2 addresses the need for warning 
signs when oxygen is administered to patients. Warning signs 
with 'CAUTION, OXYGEN IN USE, NO SMOKING, NO OPEN FLAMES' 
are not needed in our facility as :
 
•    Our facility prohibits smoking. 
•    NO SMOKING signs are prominently (strategically)
        placed at all major entrances. 
•    Nonsmoking policies are strictly enforced.
 
There are no bulk storage areas for oxygen tanks in our facility. 
 
 
 
Medical Gases ( oxygen ) General Information :
 
The factors necessary to produce a fire are:
 
    A.  A flammable material
    B.  A source of ignition, or a temperature 
        sufficiently high to produce spontaneous 
        combustion 
    C.  A surrounding atmosphere which contains oxygen 
        in some form, such as air or 
        pure oxygen.
 
The removal of any of these factors makes combustion unlikely.
 
Approved By Governing Board    
UE.1
Control #181.3
GUPTA GASTRO