Oxygen Therapy

Information For Our Customers

General Information

Physician's Prescription:____________________________________

Oxygen is classified as a drug and must be prescribed by a physician. Like other drugs it is important that you use oxygen exactly as your physician prescribes. A flow rate, in liters per minute, has been prescribed to provide additional oxygen to you. This flow rate should not be changed without permission from your physician. Too much oxygen can be just as harmful as too little.

In addition to an exact flow rate, your physician may specify the length of time that you are to use the oxygen each day. You should attempt to follow the instructions as closely as possible.

Safety Precautions

Oxygen does not explode and it does not burn, but it supports combustion and will make a fire burn much faster and hotter. To avoid the chance of fire and other possible hazards associated with oxygen follow these rules:

- DO NOT permit open flames or burning tobacco in the room where oxygen is being used or stored.

- DO NOT use electrical equipment in an oxygen-enriched atmosphere. (Examples: electric shavers, electric blankets, electric heating pads, etc.) Keep these appliances at least 5 feet form any oxygen source.

- DO NOT use any petroleum-based products such as oily back rubs, lotions, creams, or Vaseline while receiving oxygen. DO NOT handle or allow others to handle oxygen equipment with these substances on the hands.

- DO NOT use aerosol sprays in the vicinity of oxygen.

- DO NOT use alcohol or alcohol based products, or products containing ether or other flammable components in the vicinity of oxygen.

- DO NOT oil or grease oxygen equipment.

- DO NOT allow oxygen tubing to be covered by bedding or any other objects.

- DO NOT route longer oxygen supply tubing under carpet or furniture.

- DO NOT leave oxygen on when not in use.

- DO NOT abuse or handle oxygen containers roughly.

- DO NOT allow untrained persons to use or adjust equipment.

- DO NOT attempt to repair oxygen equipment.

- DO NOT place oxygen equipment near radiators, heat ducts, stoves, or any other source of heat.

- DO NOT open cylinder valves quickly.

- DO NOT transport oxygen in an enclosed area such as the trunk of your car.

- DO use a stand for all oxygen cylinders or secure them with a belt, chain, or rope.

- DO use all cotton clothing and all cotton bedding to avoid sparks from static electricity. Avoid the use of nylon and other synthetic fabrics as well as wool.

- DO keep oxygen equipment out of reach of children.

- DO keep oxygen equipment free of dust by wiping it off periodically with warm water. A mild household detergent may be used if necessary.

Never change your flow rate of oxygen from what your physician has prescribed without first calling your physician to discuss why you think you need more oxygen!


A humidifier is often included as part of your oxygen equipment. A humidifier is a bottle or jar that is filled with water and attached to the oxygen system to moisten the oxygen before you inhale it. Medical oxygen is completely dry, and breathing this completely dry gas at flow rates greater than 4 liters per minute may cause discomfort. You should use the humidifier provided if you experience any nasal dryness or discomfort.

If you use a humidifier it should be kept clean at all times. Bacteria can grow in the water and on the wet surfaces in the moist environment of the humidifier. This bacteria growth can lead to infection.


Add water to your humidifier EVERY DAY. Do not overfill.

Your humidifier should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized at least once a week.

Disassemble the humidifier: there are two parts (the bottle and the cap with the stem attached).

Avoid touching any of the internal parts of your humidifier with your hands or allowing them to touch the surfaces of counter tops, sinks, etc. when you are adding water or when you are cleaning and sanitizing.


To clean your humidifier, you will need:

- Dish washing detergent
- White vinegar
- A small brush (a bottle brush or tooth brush)
- Two basins or buckets (Tupperware containers of the appropriate size are ideal)

Basin #1 contains detergent water. This detergent solution should be discarded after each cleaning.

Basin #2 contains a solution of one-half white vinegar and one-half water. Make sure you have enough solution to cover the disassembled humidifier completely when soaking. This solution is good for one week if stored in a covered container.


1. Wash the disassembled humidifier in warm sudsy water. Use a brush to remove any residue.

2. Rinse all parts thoroughly under clear, hot running water.

3. Soak all parts in vinegar solution of one part white vinegar, one part water for 30 minutes. Make sure all parts are completely immersed in the solution.

4. Rinse all parts thoroughly under clear, hot running water.

5. Lay the parts on a paper towel in a clean area and allow to day.

6. Reassemble parts and store in equipment bag.


The cannula is the nosepiece or nasal prongs that deliver the oxygen. The two prongs fit into the nose to supply you with oxygen. The other end has a connector that attaches to the extra tubing, the nut & nipple, or the humidifier, depending on which is used. You should clean the cannula daily by wiping the prongs with a clean damp cloth. Use a new cannula once every two weeks and discard the old one. Extension tubing should never exceed 50 feet in length. The use of extension tubing greater than 50 feet can result in a decrease in the flow of oxygen provided to you. You should change your extension tubing approximately every three months.