(5) A T-tube is a device that connects directly to an endotracheal or
tracheostomy tube to deliver humidified oxygen. Connecting tubing runs from the
T-tube to the humidification device, which is connected to the oxygen source.
c. Safety precautions associated with the use of oxygen include:
(1) Post "Oxygen" and "No Smoking" signs wherever oxygen is stored or in
use. Oxygen supports combustion, so things that burn slowly in normal air will burn
violently or explosively in the presence of increased oxygen.
(2) Inform the patient and visitors of requirement for no smoking and no
open flames. Enforce this rule.
(3) Ensure that oil or grease isn't used around the oxygen fittings, as
petroleum-based products will burn.
Ensure that all electrical equipment is properly grounded and in good
(5) Avoid the use of static-generating materials such as nylon and wool.
This applies to uniforms, pajamas, and bedding.
(6) If an oxygen tank is used, secure it away from doors and high traffic
areas to reduce the possibility of the cylinder being knocked over and the valve being
(7) When transporting an oxygen cylinder, strap it to the carrier. An
unsecured cylinder may drop or fall, causing injury to patients or staff, and damaging
equipment, walls, and flooring. If the valve should break, the sudden release of the high
pressure could cause the cylinder to become a high velocity missile. A full oxygen
cylinder has enough force to penetrate a concrete wall.
2-19. NASOPHARYNGEAL AND OROPHARYNGEAL SUCTIONING
a. The nose, mouth, and throat may be cleared of mucus, vomitus, blood, or
other material by a procedure called suctioning.
(1) Material that accumulates in the mouth and throat can usually be
expectorated. Mucus accumulations in the nostrils can be removed by blowing the
nose. If the patient is unable to cough, expectorate, or otherwise clear the upper air
passages effectively, there is a danger that the accumulated material may be aspirated
into the lower air passages (trachea, bronchi, and lungs).
(2) These suctioning procedures may be carried out using medical asepsis
(clean technique) since the nostrils, mouth, and throats are not sterile areas. In specific
cases, such as isolation, sterile technique may be required.
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