Prevent Fires When Using Oxygen Cylinder Regulators
MedSun: Newsletter #13, March 2007

FDA has received 12 reports of oxygen cylinder regulators that spontaneously ignited and burned during emergency medical use or routine equipment checks, causing burns and property damage. A recently published article by Robert A. Fischer, R.N., M.S.N., a nurse-consultant at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), in Nursing2007 [37 (1): 20] discussed such fires. To read this article, see additional information below.

After a recent, very destructive, oxygen cylinder regulator fire, one in which a firefighter received second-degree burns, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and CDRH commissioned an extensive forensic analysis by an independent test laboratory of oxygen cylinder regulators. The resulting laboratory report stated that “any leakage [around damaged seals], especially slow weeping leaks, increases the probability of flow-friction ignition of this seal.” The FDA and NIOSH believe improper use of damaged gaskets/washers on the regulator was a major factor in both the ignition and severity of this particular fire.

To view precautions that can be taken to avoid explosions, cylinder ruptures, and fires from oxygen cylinder regulators, see additional information below.

Additional Information:

Nursing2007 discussed such fires and was featured by CDRH at
http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/TipsandArticlesonDeviceSafety/ucm070173.htm

To view precautions that can be taken to avoid explosions, cylinder ruptures, and fires from oxygen cylinder regulators, go to
http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/PublicHealthNotifications/ucm062088.htm


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