The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) controls the distribution and labeling of portable oxygen devices used for emergency resuscitation and life support. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a division of the Department of Labor, promulgates standards for ensuring adequate safety and health at the workplace which include the use of devices during life support and first aid. Unfortunately, neither agency has established criteria or content for a medical oxygen training class.
To fill this void, several national training organizations have created and distributed programs to teach administration of oxygen. The National Safety Council and SOS Technologies direct their programs primarily towards basic first aid responders in the workplace. The American Red Cross course focuses on workplace or community First Responders, an advanced emergency care program. The Divers Alert Network has created a course for those desiring to help a person with a marine or diving emergency.
The assumptions, structure, and content of each of the programs are briefly described. Critical issues associated with oxygen use, service, and storage are identified. An evaluation of how each program addresses these issues is presented. The paper concludes with comments and recommendations about each of the oxygen administration programs currently available.
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