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Oxygen is a very useful tool if you're doing first aid because we can increase the percentage of oxygen inside the body. Maybe someone is in shock, we can help by giving more oxygen. Someone's having a heart attack, we can get more oxygen into their blood, also if we're delivering CPR. Now, just want to really look here at the basics of oxygen. Oxygen itself is part of the main fire triangle. There are inherent risks of dealing with oxygen so you need to make sure the equipment you're using is well maintained and monitored so that there's no potential risk. Also, the storing of oxygen is very important. We don't really want to store it anywhere there's any possible risk. If you're transporting it in your car, you should have a label on your car explaining what's there so you'd have some, an oxidising agent type sticker on the back of a car. Just in case your car was involved an accident, the fire service would know you've got a bottle of oxygen in the back.

To start with, if you just look at the oxygen tank itself. Within the tank, they've normally got a carry handle, which also helps keep them still. You wouldn't lay them up on their end, there's always a risk of them falling over and getting damaged. This type of oxygen tank has the main oxygen in the bottom and the top side is the regulator which actually controls the flow of oxygen. The front of this unit has actually got a gauge and on the gauge, it actually tells you how much oxygen's left in it. We then have an on/off valve. This is the main valve to actually turn the oxygen on. So, turn it on, don't force it fully open. Just open it so it's okay. We don't want to jam it on in any way.

On the top of the unit, you've then got an adjustment valve and on here, it will allow you to dispense the oxygen at different flow rates. And on this particular unit here, it's got a flow rate up to 15 liters of oxygen per minute. In one minute, it will displace 15 liters. To start with, you would turn it on full and then you can always adjust that, turn that down if you need to later on. To actually get the oxygen to the patient, all the connections on it are just a push fit so you just take the pipe that comes with the mask and actually push that onto the tank itself.

If you're giving oxygen to a patient, it's likely that they'll be using a mask like this. This type of mask can be used if the patient is conscious or unconscious but not if they're not breathing. What you do is use the elastic to stretch over their head. The tube here is where the oxygen comes into the mask. As the oxygen flows in, it fills this bag up so when the patient breathes in, rather than just taking the air from the atmosphere, it would take it from the bag and this would be pure oxygen. With every breath in, they're getting nearly 100% oxygen. This type of mask can be quite scary for people sometimes so it's always a good idea to tell them that this is only oxygen, it will help them and often when you do give oxygen to somebody, they will start to feel better. Always make sure you explain its oxygen and you give it to them and get them to hold the mask in place, particularly if they're trying to talk, moving the mask down to the throat. This won't be effective. Keep it on there and try and get them just to breathe normally.

There are some contraindications of using oxygen so you do need to make sure that the patient has not got any reason why they can't take 100% oxygen but in most cases, within the first aid environment, this can be really, really effective treatment to actually make them feel better in the time you've got before the emergency services do arrive. When they do arrive, you want to pack this equipment up. You can take the mask away. This is all disposable so you can just throw it away. You then need to just pull the hose off of the tank. And then with the main shut off valve, just turn that off.

Once that's turned off, the valve is still pressurized so you would just need to turn the knob on the top and just allow the last of the oxygen to come out and close it off. Now, the regulator itself is de-pressurized but the valve, the tank itself, is completely shut off. Just make sure with anything to do with oxygen that you're allowed to use it within your workplace, that you store it and carry it safely. You make sure it's not going to get damaged and you follow any local workplace protocols and practices that are in place.