VA requires firebreaks for home oxygen

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has mandated* the use of thermal fuses, also know as firebreaks, in all of its home oxygen patient installations. The VA last month published a “Patient Safety Alert” requiring thermal fuses to be installed on every stationary and portable oxygen concentrator used by its 85,000 patients to help prevent patient deaths and limit injuries in the event of an oxygen fire. The requirement is being phased in over six months. The VA’s 21 regional Veterans Integrated Service Network Organizations, which oversee health care for vets, will also be required to formally report fires involving home oxygen. “The decision by the VA to mandate thermal fuses in all its patients’ oxygen installations is a victory for patient safety and a major step forward in ensuring that every home oxygen patient—no matter where they are in the world—benefits from the same level of protection,” said Richard Radford, managing director of Mansfield, U.K.-based BPR Medical, developer of the Firesafe cannula valve.