Most living things need oxygen to survive and oxygen’s importance in the field of healthcare cannot be under estimated. Oxygen is used as a medical treatment in both chronic and acute cases. Oxygen is widely used in emergency medicine, both in hospital and by emergency medical services or those giving advance first aid.
In the pre-hospital environment, high flow oxygen is definitively indicated for use in resuscitation major trauma, anaphylaxis, major hemorrhage, shock, active convulsions and hypothermia. It is also indicated for any other patient where their injury or illness has caused low oxygen levels in the blood. The typical flow meter range for medical oxygen is between 10 and 15 lpm delivered through a number of devices with the most common being the non-rebreather mask. The bag-valve-mask and pocket mask can also used to deliver high concentrations of oxygen.
The oxygen tanks used to deliver the oxygen range in size from “M2”, the smallest to “K”, one of the largest. Each size of oxygen tank delivers a specific number of minutes of oxygen based on the flow rate and the pressure remaining in the tank. There is a formula to calculate this time. However, following is a chart that can be used to assist in quickly determining the approximate number of tanks (2000 psi at a10 liter flow rate) required based on how far the worksite is from a hospital.
Oxygen Tank Sizes
* Oxygen Durations are approximates only and should only be used as a general guideline.
|Size||Oxygen Duration *|
|Oxygen Tank D||28.8 min|
|Oxygen Tank E||50.4 min|
|Oxygen Tank K||565 min|