The use of home oxygen has increased over the past decade. While oxygen itself is not flammable, an oxygen-rich environment can cause any material that catches fire to burn more readily, quickly and hotter. It’s critical that patients understand the risks associated with home use of medical oxygen. The Burn Center at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center has treated patients who were badly burned while using home oxygen.
In 2003-2006, hospital emergency rooms saw an estimated average of 1,190 thermal burns per year caused by ignitions associated with home medical oxygen.
- Eighty-nine percent of the victims suffered facial burns
- In most cases, the fire department was not involved
The Burn Center team recommends these tips to help you take better precautions for oxygen safety in the home: