Orlando Florida’s AeroCare has become one of the first US homecare companies to provide its home oxygen patients with the FireSafe™ Cannula Valve from LifeGas, the US medical gases business of The Linde Group.

The FireSafe™ Cannula Valve is a fire-arresting device that fits into standard oxygen cannula tubing, which is designed to provide additional protection to oxygen patients from the risk of fires.

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that some 30 percent of patients continue to smoke whilst on oxygen, causing hundreds of home fires every year.

The FireSafe Cannula Valve is located near the patient’s face, and therefore helps to seal off and stop an oxygen fire before it reaches the source of oxygen, such as the tank. This can limit patient injuries, improve the probability of survival and limit the structural damage caused by fire.

Mark Sanda, LifeGas Product Manager for the FireSafe Cannula Valve, says the device supports the Joint Commission Accreditation Programme for Homecare’s 2008 oxygen therapy safety goals.

The programme requires homecare providers to assess patients’ home safety, educate patients and caregivers about fire risk and notify physicians if patients continue to smoke whilst using oxygen.

“The FireSafe Cannula Valve gives clinicians a unique intervention tool to reduce the risk of injury and death for non-compliant patients. By providing the FireSafe Cannula Valve to its patients, AeroCare is demonstrating its commitment to keeping them safe,” Sanda commented.

John Pope, Purchasing Manager and Corporate Trainer for AeroCare, said, “We found that patient education combined with the Firesafe Cannula Valve is an inexpensive but effective tool to help keep our patients a little safer.”