K-Size Cylinder of Oxygen
by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Jun 26, 2020 12:00:00 AM
Q: Our hospital has an offsite Sleep Lab where patients are treated for sleep-related issues. Most patients need to be hooked to oxygen during these tests. The lab is located in a business occupancy building, with no sprinklers, and no fire ratings. There are four separate sleep rooms in the lab, all of them containing a K tank of oxygen which holds 297 cubic feet when full. The patient volume and oxygen need definitely justifies the need for this volume of oxygen, as it is replaced almost daily. Would these O2 tanks be classified as "in use" or storage? I want to ensure that we are being compliant with code expectations.
A: If the patient is connected to the K cylinder then it is definitely in use. However, according to the CMS S&C memo 07-10, an individual cylinder placed in a patient room for immediate use by a patient is not required to be stored in an enclosure and is considered in use. It should be secured to prevent tipping or damage to the cylinder.
If the patient does not need the use of oxygen for an extended period of time, such as several days, then the medical gas container should be removed from the room and properly secured in an approved storage room. But if you have spare K cylinders in the building, then they would have to be stored in accordance with 11.3.2 of the NFPA 99-2012, which applies to all healthcare facilities, including Sleep Labs in business occupancies.