How do I prepare liquid oxygen

Safe handling of medical oxygen

Medical oxygen is mainly used in emergency medicine, but increasingly also in other areas related to health - such as for therapeutic purposes. However, some important safety measures must be taken during use and storage in order to avoid the risk of accidents. Because the hazard potential of pure oxygen should not be underestimated.

Oxygen (O2) is essential for human survival and is mainly absorbed through the lungs through the air, which contains around 20.95%.

Medical oxygen is usually available in appropriate gas cylinders and is used, for example, as a carrier gas in anesthesia. But it is also used for therapeutic treatments such as pain therapy.

In Germany, gas cylinders filled with medical oxygen are generally only available in white gas pressure cylinders. Certain safety measures must be observed when storing and using these bottles. Because oxygen can not only damage health if used improperly.

Pure oxygen is a fire accelerator that should not be underestimated in gaseous form, and even more dangerous in liquid form. After all, liquid oxygen was also used as a rocket fuel.

Handling and properties of medical oxygen

Medical oxygen belongs to medical gases and is rarely available in liquid form, but mostly in gaseous form, especially in small quantities. The properties of these two variants differ in a few points:

Gaseous oxygen

The air already contains gaseous oxygen at a little more than 20% - from this one can conclude that it is not flammable. However, oxygen promotes combustion and the more enriched the oxygen is in the air, the easier it is for fires to break out.

Different materials that are non-flammable in room air can very well become flammable in contact with pure oxygen - often an enrichment of just a few percent is enough to cause such dangerous effects. This also applies to fat and oil. Medical oxygen should therefore have no place in the kitchen, in particular.

Furthermore, gaseous oxygen ensures that flames that come into contact with it burn significantly hotter and that the ignited materials burn much faster.

Liquid oxygen

Oxygen has to be cooled extremely strongly in order to take on a liquid state - down to -183 degrees Celsius. So if you come into contact with liquid oxygen, you can get cold burns. For this reason, eyes and skin must be protected with appropriate protective clothing during use.

Many substances can also easily become brittle when they come into contact with liquid oxygen.

When handling liquid oxygen, it is particularly important to be aware that the gas will spread rapidly when heated. One liter of liquid oxygen turns into approximately 850 liters of gaseous oxygen. It can be correspondingly dangerous if only small amounts of liquid oxygen escape in a room, since a dangerous accumulation of O2 can very easily occur, which greatly increases the risk of explosion.

In addition, cold oxygen is significantly heavier than air for the same reasons. It can therefore collect through openings and channels in low-lying rooms and cause danger there accordingly.

Safe use of medical oxygen

For users of oxygen in the medical field, such as hospitals, rescue vehicles or other medical facilities, the following important points apply to maintaining safety:

  • Only trained or instructed persons are permitted to work with oxygen

  • Smoking or handling open flames or other sources of ignition is strictly forbidden when working with oxygen

  • The improper use of medical oxygen, such as spraying it to improve breathing air or blowing off clothing, people or objects, is extremely dangerous and must therefore be avoided at all costs

  • Since oxygen adheres very well to clothing, it must be carefully ventilated if it has been in an environment of air that has been enriched with oxygen

  • The use of non-metallic materials in the high-pressure part of oxygen systems is only permitted if it can be proven that they have passed a burn-out test under the maximum operating pressure that occurs

Maintain and operate oxygen equipment properly

If you use devices for the application of medical oxygen, make sure that they are always kept free of grease and oil, because these substances can catch fire very quickly in contact with pure oxygen, in some cases even explosively.

In general, the cleanliness of all components in such devices is immensely important. Also make sure that your gloves or work clothes are always clean and do not contain any potentially flammable materials.

This is how you handle oxygen bottles correctly

  1. The pressure reducer must explicitly be free of oil and grease.

  2. In general, never throw gas bottles.

  3. Make sure that the oxygen cylinder is always well secured and cannot fall anywhere.

  4. Always open the valves on oxygen cylinders by hand and make sure that they are pointed away from your body.

  5. Protect oxygen bottles from excessive heat, especially at temperatures higher than 50 degrees.

  6. Always ventilate your storage location well.

  7. Never store oxygen with flammable gases.

  8. Always transport oxygen bottles with approved valve protection and in such a way that they are always protected against rolling around and slipping.
    There are specially made transport boxes for oxygen bottles

The handling of medical oxygen is not entirely safe. But if you take all of the precautionary measures mentioned, medical oxygen can be used without hesitation - whether in the clinical area or for therapeutic measures in private rooms.

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about the author

Inara Muradowa is an SEO expert and corporate blogger. In addition to technical search engine optimization and SEO consulting, she actively supports companies with the conception and writing of professional blog posts.