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Using Oxygen at Home

Your doctor has prescribed oxygen to help make breathing easier for you. You will be shown how to use your oxygen unit. Below are some guidelines on using oxygen at home safely. Do all steps each time you use your oxygen unit.

Oxygen tank with cannula tubing attached to humidifier bottle. Oxygen gauge and flow rate gauges are on top. Flow control valve is near oxygen gauge.

Step 1. Check Your Supply

  • Pressurize your oxygen tank.

  • Check the oxygen gauge on the tank to be sure you have enough. When the gauge reads 1/3 full, call to order more oxygen.

  • If you have a humidifier bottle, check the water level. When it is at or below 1/2 full, refill it with sterile or distilled water.

Step 2. Attach the Tubing

  • Attach the cannula tubing to your oxygen source as you have been shown.

  • Be sure the tubing is not bent or blocked.

Step 3. Set Your Prescribed Flow Rate

  • Set the oxygen to flow at the rate your doctor has prescribed. This is_____________.

  • Never change this rate unless told to by your doctor.

Woman with nasal cannula prongs under nose and tubing around ears. Closeup of nasal cannula prongs.
A nasal cannula should be placed with the prongs arching toward you.

Step 4. Insert the Cannula

  • Insert the nasal cannula into your nose and breathe through your nose normally.

  • If you’re not sure whether oxygen is flowing, place the cannula in a glass of water. Bubbles mean that oxygen is flowing.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 1/15/2007
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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