Scary!!!!!

  1. Am I the ONLY nurse who is afraid of the oxygen tanks? I know it sounds silly, but I cringe and jump back every time I have to get a new one and open it. Isn't that weird?
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   nurseangel47
    Not silly. It's a matter of getting used to the two or three steps to utilizing a tank. They're heavy, they go "boom!" when toppling over, LOL!
    All you need is an inservice on the tool to use to open the tank, how to attach the gauge, and how to bleed the line when finished with it. It's simple, it's not silly.
  4. by   Myxel67
    Don't worry; O2 isn't explosive the way hydrogen is. It just supports combustion. So if you were next to an an oxygen delivery system, the cigarette might blaze up in your face.
  5. by   chuck1234
    Is this what we always call the O2-phobia...I remember I was worried the 1st time I handled it...now, I could even handle a big gas tank that contains 2000 liters of O2 without worrying a bit!!! Practice makes perfect!!!
  6. by   CaLLaCoDe
    Torpedo 1! LOL

    But really now, the O2 tanks do resemble an article of war: color green, metal clamps on one end to hold the explossive gasses inside. Only time I heard of one being dangerous is during an MRI...someone was mortally wounded when the O2 tank thrust upon them when the MRI maschine was pushed on. Someone forgot to leave the O2 tank on the outside of the MRI scanner area, away from the patient.
    Last edit by CaLLaCoDe on Feb 13, '07
  7. by   Megsd
    The only time I have been really scared of the O2 tank was when I worked in home health and had to set up my pt's portable O2 every morning. The little rubber washer or whatever that kept the oxygen from leaking out when the gauge was attached, went bad and the tank started WHOOOOOOOOSHING really really loud as it let out all its O2. As a HHA I didn't receive much training (actually, any training) on oxygen tanks so I freaked out and made the pt leave her room while I got the nurse to keep my pt from blowing up.

    Of course, all she told me was "Well, it'll stop when the tank's empty" and sure enough by the time she got down to the room with me, the tank was empty and silent, and my amused patient was back in her room waiting for me.
  8. by   TazziRN
    I agree with Meghan, opening a new tank always made me nervous because of the sudden release.
  9. by   Calgon-take.me.away
    You all do know to make sure to store all O2 tanks in either an upright holder or lying down on their sides. A tank that falls over could possibly break off the regulator and then, as demonstrated on Mythbusters, go thru concrete walls and anything else in their way!
  10. by   TazziRN
    Of course!
  11. by   stillpressingon
    Quote from Calgon-take.me.away
    A tank that falls over could possibly break off the regulator and then, as demonstrated on Mythbusters, go thru concrete walls and anything else in their way!
    That's what I'm always afraid of!
  12. by   fultzymom
    Quote from jill48
    Am I the ONLY nurse who is afraid of the oxygen tanks? I know it sounds silly, but I cringe and jump back every time I have to get a new one and open it. Isn't that weird?

    Every time I have to turn one on and the seal is not tight et it makes that swooshing noise I jump back. Freaks me out!:chuckle
  13. by   vamedic4
    When I teach nurses oxygen therapy I usually start by freaking them out...it'll get some attention when you take off the regulator and get that initial "swoosh" of 02...

    Seriously though...yes, oxygen supports combustion, but in itself is not flammable. The more you use the big (or small) tanks, the more comfortable you'll be. Ask a knowledgeable person to help you take the regulator off, practice this a few times, messing with the dial...whatever.

    Do remember however that these tanks are under enormous pressure and can be dangerous...but it's very hard to break the end off of the tank. You're more likely to be injured by dropping the thing on your leg..or head...or patient...so be careful.


    vamedic4
  14. by   oramar
    Quote from Calgon-take.me.away
    You all do know to make sure to store all O2 tanks in either an upright holder or lying down on their sides. A tank that falls over could possibly break off the regulator and then, as demonstrated on Mythbusters, go thru concrete walls and anything else in their way!
    I heard about the instance of the MRI death. In the last couple of years wasn't there an instance where one fell off a stretcher and turned into a rocket? Maybe that was what the MythBusters were trying to recreate? I have seen a lot of that show but not that one.

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