In hospitals, oxygen is supplied from a central oxygen supply facility via an outlet in the wall. A flow meter regulates the oxygen supply. The physician will prescribe oxygen levels to be administered to a patient. Elsewhere, such as at home, oxygen tanks which contain the gas in its compressed form, are deployed.
In both instances, whether at home via an oxygen tank or in hospital through a central supply facility, the delivery system remains the same: a plastic tube or a nasal cannula delivers the oxygen to the patient. Oxygen tanks can be both large and small. They are fitted with flow meters and regulators.
At one end of the cannula or tube are a set of 2 prongs which are placed in the nostrils. The other end is attached either to the oxygen tank which is portable or to the hospital outlet which is affixed to the wall in the hospital. Please ensure that the oxygen tank is fitted with a regulator, it regulates the flow of oxygen and ensures a steady supply to the patient via the cannula or tubing.
Here's how you connect the cannula or tubing to the oxygen tank:
1. The oxygen tank or cylinder will have a plastic cap or plug covering the cylinder valve. These will be of different sizes in accordance with the cylinder size. Remove this cap or plug.
2. Place the regulator (which should have a flow meter attached to it) on the valve. Tighten the regulator.
3. Open the cylinder valve.
5. Attach humidifier to the flow meter. Ensure that this is mounted in an upright position.
6. Attach the cannula tube to the humidifier.
7. Open the valve in the flow meter in accordance with the doctor's orders. When the flow meter indicates low levels of oxygen, it's time to replace the oxygen tank.
As you can see it is not difficult to set up an oxygen tank at home just that you have to pay attention to the flow meter at all times.