oxygen and vaseline

  1. Ok. I have heard that vaseline or carmex being used on the patients lips or nose that is using oxygen can be combustable. Is is true. and if so is is evidenced based practice not to use it. And finally if it is combustable and dangerous, is there an alternative?
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   Virgo_RN
    I'd be interested in knowing what evidence there is to support this as well.
  4. by   truern
    Well, vaseline IS a petroleum-based product.....

    I had a patient once that was on home O2 and SMOKED!! She had scars all around her mouth and nose
  5. by   twinkerrs
    any petroleum based product has the possiblity of being combustible. Any product that is petroleum free is fine for you to use on a patient on oxygen. I couldnt find anything but this link, http://www.ltotnet.org/resources_pat...gen_users.html
    but it also states this in my textbook Kozier and Erbs Fundamentals of Nursing.
  6. by   Boog'sCRRN246
    I don't know about it being combustable in the sense of a huge explosion, but I have seen patients on oxygen and using vaseline have a reddened appearance around their nostrils. Almost like a sunburn. We provide water-based lubricants if the patient experiences dryness.
  7. by   southernbeegirl
    water based lubricants should be used due to risk of aspiration. ive heard people say there is a risk of combustion. we asked a doc about this recently at work and he said it was just a myth. but pts on o2 should only use the water based lubes in their nostrils due to the aspiration risk.
  8. by   hypocaffeinemia
    Vasoline: hydrocarbon (reaaally good fuel)
    Oxygen: oxidizer

    That's two corners of the fire triangle right there.
  9. by   Virgo_RN
    Still waiting for the evidence.....
  10. by   hypocaffeinemia
    Quote from Boog'sGirl724
    I don't know about it being combustable in the sense of a huge explosion...
    Combustion doesn't equal explosion.
  11. by   hypocaffeinemia
    Quote from Virgo_RN
    Still waiting for the evidence.....
    The evidence?

    It's basic chemistry.

    oxidizing agent + fuel source = exothermic output (aka fire). A simple combustion reaction.
  12. by   Virgo_RN
    Quote from hypocaffeinemia
    The evidence?

    It's basic chemistry.

    oxidizing agent + fuel source = exothermic output (aka fire). A simple combustion reaction.
    Your equation is missing the spark. What I'm looking for is evidence that vaseline in the presence of oxygen will spontaneously combust.
  13. by   hypocaffeinemia
    Quote from Virgo_RN
    Your equation is missing the spark. What I'm looking for is evidence that vaseline in the presence of oxygen will spontaneously combust.
    I don't think anybody made the claim it would spontaneously combust. That doesn't mean the practice is safe.

    A fine mist of gasoline vapor in a mix of 21% oxygen won't spontaneously combust either, for contrast's sake.
  14. by   Tait
    I believe the spark can be static electricity from what I am reading.

    Tait

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