Oxygen has hit headlines in the United States this week for two very different reasons. An ambulance operative sustained serious injuries following an oxygen tank explosion in Oregon on Sunday. Meanwhile the beneficial side of O2 was highlighted when it purportedly saved the life of a Florida manufacturer.

Both sides of the industrial gas element were drawn into sharp focus this week. On the one hand, its life preserving benefits couldn’t have been highlighted more clearly than in Florida. OxySure Systems, Inc. publicised an incident in which the firm’s 615 Model portable oxygen unit delivered emergency oxygen to a distressed employee.

According to Tim Hillman, Health & Safety Coordinator for the manufacturing site, the OxySure unit was pulled into action when an employee encountered breathing difficulties before being taken to hospital. It was subsequently confirmed that the patient had suffered a blocked artery which caused a tear in his aorta.

Device manufacturer, OxySure Systems thanked both Hillman’s quick thinking and the device, for ‘bridging the gap’ between a medical distress situation and the arrival of professional help.

In stark contrast, a Metro West Ambulance operative received burns following an oxygen tank explosion in the garage at the company’s headquarters.

Eric Nehl, the injured employee is currently described as in a serious condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. A company official informed local paper, The Oregonian, that Nehl sustained the injury when filling oxygen tanks after a valve malfunctioned.

The latter incident just confirms the very pertinent need for attention to gas safety. For more information about gas safety we recommend that readers consult their local gas association for the most up-to-date information.

For details about your local gases association click here.