The Joint Commission's (JCAHO) oxygen cylinder storage requirements are derived from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines on storing medical grade gas supplies. In 2000, the JCAHO sent out a sentinel event alert to health organizations nationwide on the gravity of effecting safe gas storage practices. That year, JCAHO was alerted to the death of four patients and injury of five others due to improper compressed gas storage.
Designated Storage Areas
The FDA recommends that seven separate areas be designated for the following: empty containers, full containers, in-process containers, different types of medical gases, rejected containers and closures, medical gases that have been released, and medical gases that have not been released. A possible eighth storage area may be necessary for industrial gases as well.
To prevent combustion, the Joint Commission requires following the FDA's recommendation that oxygen cylinders, among other medical gas containers, be stored covered in room temperature conditions. Storage areas should also be clean, dry and well ventilated.
Care of Accompanying Equipment
Oxygen cylinder accompanying equipment such as valve assemblies and hoses should be stored covered to prevent contamination and/or insect infestation, according to the Joint Commission.
- The United States Pharmacopeial Convention: Proposal for USP Standards Based on Medical Gas Mix-ups
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Guidance for Industry, Current Good Manufacturing Practice for Medical Gases--Holding and Distribution
- The Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert: Medical Gas Mix-ups
Sarah McLeod began writing professionally for the federal government In 1999. In 2002 she was trained by Georgetown University's Oncology Chief to abstract medical records and has since contributed to Phase I through Phase IV research around the country. McLeod holds a Bachelor of Arts in human services from George Washington University and a Master of Science in health science from Touro University.