Figure 3-6. Nonsparking cylinder wrenches.
d. Remove Cylinder Valve Cap. All oxygen cylinders have a steel cap that is
screwed onto the top of the cylinder to protect the valve from damage while the cylinder
is not in use. The cap may be difficult to remove or noisy during removal. Do not oil the
threads of the cylinder cap. Even though oxygen itself does not burn or explode, it does
support combustion. In an oxygen-enriched atmosphere, a small spark can cause
flammable objects (bed linen, and so forth) or flammable liquids (oil, etc.) to burst into flames.
Remove the cylinder valve cap by turning it counterclockwise with your hand.
e. "Crack" the Cylinder. "Crack" the cylinder by fitting a handwheel over the
cylinder stem, quickly turning the cylinder handwheel counterclockwise to open the
valve slightly, and immediately turning it back clockwise to close the valve (figure 3-7).
The "cracking" procedure produces a loud hissing noise that can be frightening if not
expected; therefore, it should be accomplished prior to moving the cylinder into the
patient's room. "Cracking" the cylinder removes any dust particles that may have
accumulated on the outlet.
(1) If the cylinder valve does not have a handwheel, fit a non-sparking
cylinder wrench over the stem, turn counterclockwise, and immediately turn back
clockwise to close the valve. "M" cylinders usually have handwheels; the smaller
cylinders usually do not.
(2) If the cracking procedure does not result in a noisy rush of air through
the valve, report the problem to your supervisor and obtain another cylinder.