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Vaseline and Oxygen: Flame On

Posted Aug 26 2008 11:41pm
I have been told before that you cannot mix oxygen and vaseline together because they can cause a flame and cause problems. How many others of you have heard this information, maybe this should be put on a new Myth Buster's show.

So I started looking around a bit and have came across some posting on nursing sites about whether this is a myth or not. I have found numerous references to this article, " Dispelling the petroleum jellymyth," in the November 1998 American Journal of Nursing but I have no way to access this article and cannot find a good free source for this. If anyone out there has access to this I would be interested to hear or see the information in this article.

Information I have found out about this being a combustible subject is that when a patient used a thin layer of petroleum jelly on their lips due to dryness from the oxygen that the oxygen from a oxygen device to provide the patient with oxygen can cause the petroleum jelly can cause a gas that when combined with oxygen can become very combustible, and then is a static spark can cause a flame. Supposedly there are many reports if this in a surgical rooms versus not many report from patient floor rooms. Could this be from a lack of people reporting this problem, I don't know but I think it's a interesting subject because I see vaseline and Carmex used a lot to moisten the lips of patients on oxygen. I do understand that oxygen does make your mouth and lips dry.

I am interested to see if anyone else out there has any good information on this topic.

Keep Driving on RT's
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