When a serious or life threatening emergency arises, there are sometimes additional risks that can prove to be even more harmful than the primary issue. During a physical trauma oxygen can be depleted from the bloodstream, which leaves the victim at an increased risk for shock. Shock occurs when cells and organs are not receiving enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly.
Shock can be caused by any condition that reduces blood flow, or that reduces the amount of available oxygen in the blood. Common causes for shock include:
- Sudden cardiac arrest
- Heart attack or heart failure
- Heavy bleeding
- Severe allergic reactions
- Spinal injuries
- Serious injuries
Shock can often be a life-threatening condition affecting multiple organs in the body. Shock requires immediate medical treatment and can quickly escalate the severity of emergencies that may otherwise have not been life-threatening. As many 20% of people who suffer from shock will die from it.
Emergency oxygen helps to treat shock by bridging the gap between the onset of a medical emergency and the arrival of the first responders on the scene. Just like a fire extinguisher, oxygen products can be safely pre-positioned to provide immediate access to medical oxygen during a medical emergency between the onset of the emergency and the arrival of fire & rescue personnel.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) response times in the United States for fire & rescue ranges from 6 to 15 minutes from the time of dispatch. The response time can be higher, depending on traffic conditions or rural situations. Emergency oxygen provides immediate application of oxygen to a patient by a by-stander during the first critical minutes between the onset of the medical emergency and the arrival of the fire & rescue personnel.
Emergency oxygen systems are portable and easy to use solutions that focus on providing oxygen to both breathing and non-breathing people who have suffered serious injuries.
The American Red Cross says that emergency oxygen can help to improve the condition of hypoxia (insufficient oxygen reaching the cells) and can also help reduce pain and breathing discomfort.
Did you know?
- Cardiac arrest in children and adolescents is usually attributed to respiratory causes rather than heart factors.
- The primary goal of CPR during treatment of sudden cardiac arrest is to provide oxygen to the vital organ, especially the brain.
- The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) points out that the majority of sudden death in children occurs from respiratory arrest.
- Emergency oxygen is often overlooked during Sudden Cardiac Arrest incidents where CPR is administered and an AED is present. While shocking the heart is vital to restart the heart, a lack of oxygen to the brain can prove just as fatal as heart fibrillation.
Emergency oxygen isn't just for use in a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Emergency oxygen can also be used for:
- Asthma attacks
- Diabetic emergencies
- Cardiac arrest (post-resuscitation)
- Chest pain
- Heat exhaustion
- Migraine headaches
- Breathing difficulties
- Allergy emergencies
- And many more medical emergencies
School Health offers the OxySure Emergency Oxygen System as a complete solution to administer emergency oxygen in the event of an emergency. OxySure is a lightweight, portable, and above all SAFE way to have emergency oxygen available, on-demand. This system gives a parent, a bystander, or even the victim themselves the ability to administer lifesaving oxygen when it is needed.
OxySure can help to significantly improve the outcome of a medical emergency. And, it complements the efforts of first responders. We recommend prominent placement of emergency oxygen devices. The most effective placement is alongside an AED device as emergency oxygen is recommended as part of the post-resuscitation process during a cardiac incident.