Lifeflo FAQLifeflo FAQ
- Why is oxygen therapy important in the event of a life-threatening medical emergency?
Most life-threatening medical emergencies are accompanied by reduced levels of oxygen in the blood and in the tissues and organs. Without sufficient oxygen, the body’s organs can begin to die in a short amount of time. The most sensitive of the body’s organs to reduced levels of oxygen is the brain. Brain tissues can begin dying very quickly without sufficient oxygen. The heart is also dependent on oxygen to function, and low tissue oxygen levels can lead to cardiac arrest. Supplemental oxygen can help sustain the patient’s organs before emergency services arrive
- Who should receive emergency medial oxygen?
Anyone who is experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency should receive emergency oxygen, without exception.
- How should emergency oxygen be administered?
If the victim is breathing, an oxygen mask placed over the nose and mouth will help to increase the concentration of oxygen in the air the victim breathes. If the victim is not breathing and requires CPR, emergency oxygen administered via a CPR mask can increase the concentration of oxygen in the breath the person performing CPR breathes into the lungs of the victim. In both cases, administering emergency oxygen greatly increases the oxygen available to the victim.
- When should emergency oxygen be administered?
As long as an open airway has been established, oxygen therapy should begin immediately. If there is a delay in the oxygen unit reaching the victim and CPR is necessary, mouth-to-mouth or mouth-to-barrier rescue breathing should be performed until emergency oxygen becomes available.
- Is oxygen therapy ever harmful during a medical emergency?
Oxygen always increases the chances of survival for the victim in a life-threatening medical emergency. Oxygen therapy only has the potential to produce harm with prolonged use of 5 or more hours, a condition which does not apply to acute emergency situations.
- Is emergency oxygen a substitute for rescue breathing?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. If the victim is not breathing, administering oxygen without rescue breathing provides no benefit. In the case of a victim who is not breathing, administer emergency oxygen in conjunction with rescue breathing by using a CPR mask.
- Once CPR/AED has helped to revive the victim, is oxygen therapy still necessary? Or, if the victim is breathing and shows improvement, is emergency oxygen still necessary?
Administer emergency oxygen until emergency medical services arrive on the scene. Providing emergency oxygen can help prevent the victim relapsing into cardio-respiratory arrest.
- Is emergency oxygen a substitute for the Heimlich Maneuver?
Ensure that the airway is open and clear of any obstructions before administering emergency oxygen. If the airway is obstructed, oxygen therapy by itself will not help.
- I’m not certain if the victim is breathing or not. Should I perform rescue breathing or administer oxygen first?
If you are unsure whether the victim is breathing, begin rescue breathing, preferably in conjunction with oxygen therapy such as via a CPR mask. Administering oxygen via an oxygen mask to a victim who is not breathing could lead to respiratory arrest without rescue breathing.
- The victim is not in respiratory or cardiac arrest, but appears to be having difficulty breathing. Should I administer oxygen?
Administering emergency oxygen to a victim who is having trouble breathing is one of the most important steps to preventing respiratory arrest.
- What should I do if the victim cannot tolerate an oxygen mask?
If the victim cannot tolerate an oxygen mask covering her/his nose and mouth, hold the mask close to the nose and mouth and most of the oxygen will still be available to the victim to breathe.
- If I am not sure whether to administer emergency oxygen, what should I do?
When in doubt, administer emergency oxygen. It is not harmful, and it has the potential to prevent further damage and to save lives.
- Do I need a prescription from a doctor to keep emergency oxygen on hand and to administer it in a life-threatening emergency?
Oxygen is only considered a drug in the event that it is administered in concentrations above the level of the air we normally breathe and when used as a medical treatment. The Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) requires a prescription for oxygen used as a medical treatment, but has exempted emergency oxygen in life-threatening situations. Lifeflo OTC Emergency Oxygen is an over-the-counter (OTC) device approved by the FDA to provide oxygen at a minimum rate of 6 liters per minute for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- Who is qualified to administer emergency oxygen?
Anyone who has been instructed on how to safely administer emergency oxygen is qualified to do so. The person administering oxygen should have a complete understanding of the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the emergency oxygen device. A course in administering oxygen as a first-aid responder is recommende, but not required.
- What are the legal requirements for storing and maintaining a Lifeflo OTC Emergency Oxygen system?
Lifeflo OTC Emergency Oxygen units do not require periodic maintenance or re-certification, unlike traditional oxygen canisters. Once the expiration date on the unit has passed, simply dispose of and replace the unit according to the instructions on the packaging.
- Is there any danger of a fire or explosion with the Lifeflo Emergency Oxygen system?
Oxygen is not combustible on its own, but rather accelerates combustion from other sources. Lifeflo Emergency Oxygen is contained in a protective bag that includes safety features designed to prevent combustion while the unit is generating oxygen. When handled correctly, oxygen is perfectly safe.
- How much emergency oxygen should I keep on hand?
The best way to determine how much oxygen to keep on hand is to investigate the average response time for emergency medical services in your area and to keep enough oxygen on hand to administer for twice that amount of time in case of an unexpected delay in emergency response time. For most facilities, 30-45 minutes’ worth of oxygen will suffice.
- Are there any OSHA regulations for emergency oxygen?
No, OSHA does not publish any specific guidelines for the storage and use of emergency oxygen systems.
- Do Good Samaritan laws cover providing emergency oxygen?
Good Samaritan laws seek to protect anyone who gives assistance to those who are injured or in danger. Because emergency oxygen is considered first-aid, it is covered by Good Samaritan laws.