A medical oxygen tank is an absolute essential piece of equipment that is necessary to medical facilities in any part of the world. It is also referred to as ‘bottled gas’ in the UK and Europe. There are some precautions to be taken when using one at home of purchasing one for any purpose. A medical oxygen tank must adhere to some standards.
A medical oxygen tank is filled with what is commonly known as liquid air. This is then heated and condensed until only pure oxygen is left, and then encased within an aluminum cylinder. A ring made of Teflon material is placed on the top of the cylinder. There is a depression on the top called the o-gland. This o-gland is where the Teflon ring is fitted. This forms a seal between the cylinder and the valve. Once the valve is screwed into the cylinder, it is deemed to be seal shut and no oxygen can escape. This sealing is what one should look for when buying a cylinder.
The air within the cylinder is also named ‘breathing gas.’ It is so called because it is often used to battle ‘decompression sickness.’ This happens when the body does not get sufficient amounts of oxygen, as in the case of panic attacks, asthma, coronary attacks, in extreme cases. It may also be used in scuba diving and other swimming related activities.
For a tank to be declared safe for usage, it must conform to some regulations. Firstly, it must have adequate oxygen in accordance with the rate of breathing of the user. If the user breathes too rapidly, the oxygen will fall scarce. It should also suit the purpose for which it is being used. The pace of activity must match the volume of the gas. Secondly, it must be certified as completely devoid of poisonous gases. Some of these are carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. And lastly, it must not transform into toxic gas when used in a high pressure environment. This is especially true of situations wherein the tank is used underwater.
Some people may find keeping an oxygen tank at home necessary. This happens to patients of hypoxemia. In this condition, the lungs do not get enough oxygen. The patient often feels shortness of breath and panting. Pure oxygen is required in these conditions, making up for what natural atmosphere lacks. The tank can be fitted with a thin tube called a nasal cannula and the patient can breathe through this. In extreme cases, a mask may be needed.
Oxygen cylinders need to be stored with care, additionally. Today, there are special cylinder storage cabinets available. They are usually made from non-sparking aluminum and are lockable. They make transport convenient and protect the cylinders from dangers from inflammation and other risks.
As it is seen, oxygen tanks have many usages. From personal to medical to recreational, it is a necessary device. As they become more common, tanks are becoming smaller and less bulky than before. They are easier to carry around now. Tanks with different volumes are often widely obtainable. The tanks even come with carrier bags to make them less conspicuous to transport.