Oxygen at Camp

  1. The camp that I will be working at this summer tells me that last year's nurses wanted to have portable oxygen on hand, though the camp has never had it before. I have worked at many camps but have never worked at one where that is O2. Is this common practice to have O2? What are other's experiences? Thank you for any feedback.
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Alex Egan
    Hi welcome to the camp nursing forum.

    I have worked at camps that have it, and some that don't. As far as experience well when I needed it, then I had it. Which was great because the camp that used O2 was very rural so EMS was at least 30 min away. The camps that did't have it were more urban with an EMS response time of 10 min or so.

    Oxygen is a medication and would require a MD order. You would then give that order to a DME and rent a tank. You would also need to acquire nasal canula's and NRB masks.
  4. by   Laceyjones
    Thank you, Alex
  5. by   TheSquire
    If you're going to have portable oxygen, you'll also want a proper carrying bag for it, based on the size of tank you'll have. Remember, a damaged compressed gas cylinder becomes an uncontrolled rocket, so a proper carrying bag with padding is essential.

    Also, you should also find a helpful EMT to show you how to crack the tank if don't already know how.
  6. by   CampNurse1
    It depends on the acuity level you are expecting. If you have campers with asthma, a breathing treatment with O2 will open them right up, way better than a nebulizer. It depends on what your camp director will let you spend. The tanks are easy to get and not too expensive. It's good to have O2 if you need to do CPR (I've only had to do it once in six years). I have one camper each year with cystic fibrosis, and, for her, oxygen is totally needed. Her normal sat is about 80%! She and her blue lips scared the crud out of me at first. My vote even at a healthy kids camp would be to have some on hand. Get with your camp director and camp doctor.
  7. by   A&Ox6
    I would probably say that it is a great thing to have. Just make sure that you have a protocol that allows you to use it in an emergency even without a patient specific order.
  8. by   heinz57
    Quote from Alex Egan
    Oxygen is a medication and would require a MD order. You would then give that order to a DME and rent a tank. You would also need to acquire nasal canula's and NRB masks.
    No. No prescription is needed for emergency oxygen. It is readily available from many sources. If you notice in many public places which have AEDs, there are also emergency O2 tanks which have a mask with them.

    http://safe-wise.com/downloads/Consi...encyOxygen.pdf


    Quote from TheSquire
    Also, you should also find a helpful EMT to show you how to crack the tank if don't already know how.
    "Cracking" O2 tanks is a thing of the past. Most O2 tanks have safety regulators which eliminates the old key and crack stuff.

    Quote from CampNurse1
    If you have campers with asthma, a breathing treatment with O2 will open them right up, way better than a nebulizer.
    This makes no sense. Many treatments are done by compressed air or by MDI. The medication in the nebulizer which what opens the patient up and not the oxygen.


    I do suggest an O2 certification course or at least a thorough review with a qualified nurse, RT or MD for those who don't understand the regulations and administration of O2. You can also include the use of the AED and other emergency equipment to ensure a safe summer. Medical needs kids need a detailed medication and care plan. Not all kids should get their nebulizer treatments with oxygen so a portable compressor might be needed. A battery operated portable one should be included as standard equipment.
  9. by   CampNurse1
    It made sense to the pediatrician who ordered breathing treatments with O2 for his asthmatics.
  10. by   TheSquire
    You should know what you're talking about before you speak.

    Quote from heinz57
    "Cracking" O2 tanks is a thing of the past. Most O2 tanks have safety regulators which eliminates the old key and crack stuff.
    Well, that's a relief to hear that the silver stems of the oxygen tanks in my Health Lodge will magically have built-in regulators come next season. I'm sure that I'm not the only Health Officer whose camp runs on a budget, and so hasn't sprung for the more expensive, newer equipment.

    Quote from heinz57
    This makes no sense. Many treatments are done by compressed air or by MDI. The medication in the nebulizer which what opens the patient up and not the oxygen.
    You're correct about the mechanism of action, but wrong about field administration. In urgent/emergent settings, nebulized medications are given with oxygen, period. If I'm responding to a scout in respiratory distress, I'm bringing the O2 bag and not lugging a compressor, and if they're wheezing that scout will likely need both O2 and the albuterol neb I'm going to start.
  11. by   heinz57
    Quote from TheSquire
    .

    You're correct about the mechanism of action, but wrong about field administration. In urgent/emergent settings, nebulized medications are given with oxygen, period. If I'm responding to a scout in respiratory distress, I'm bringing the O2 bag and not lugging a compressor, and if they're wheezing that scout will likely need both O2 and the albuterol neb I'm going to start.
    Did you read the original post?

    Oxygen is not required to run a nebulizer. An MDI given correctly is also very effective. Many children's hospitals do not do nebulizer treatments even in their ER.

    Emergency oxygen does not require a prescription to which I responded. It is comforting to have oxygen available. But, not all asthmatics need oxygen for their breathing treatments.

    The literature over the past many years have shown the downside to just randomly giving oxygen.

    But, again, as pertaining to the OP, emergency oxygen does not require a doctor's prescription for each and every person. It can be obtained for a camp situation easily.
  12. by   TheSquire
    Quote from heinz57
    Did you read the original post?

    Oxygen is not required to run a nebulizer. An MDI given correctly is also very effective. Many children's hospitals do not do nebulizer treatments even in their ER.

    Emergency oxygen does not require a prescription to which I responded. It is comforting to have oxygen available. But, not all asthmatics need oxygen for their breathing treatments.

    The literature over the past many years have shown the downside to just randomly giving oxygen.
    I did read it, but you keep referring back to hospital settings - which a non-health camp does not resemble by any means.

    At camp, I may or may not have another provider to help me cover 4,900 acres and up to 1,000 campers and staff spread out over multiple sites. I don't pass meds; when I'm not pushing paper I'm responding to actual problems, and I don't have a rig to bring half the contents of my Health Lodge with me. I have a jump bag and an oxygen bag that I throw in a pickup truck or my personal vehicle, with AEDs spread throughout the property. That's it. I'm not lugging a compressor to some random site on the property - and where would I plug it in, the nearest tree?

    Also, I'm well aware of oxygen toxicity: I have my PALS card, and am the first to jump down anyone's throat who puts O2 on someone with with 100% SpO2 that wasn't exposed to carbon monoxide or cyanide. That said, I'm not lugging a separate canister of compressed medical air in my oxygen bag; it's heavy enough as it is. Just like any EMS provider, I'm hooking a nebulizer up to oxygen.

    Before you get on a high horse, consider the operating constraints of the practice setting.
    Last edit by TheSquire on Oct 14, '16 : Reason: clarity

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