Using cylinder gas in patient rooms

  • Thursday, November 16, 2017 11:10 PM
    Message # 5590410

     There is a hospital in my territory that has 2H cylinders of 02 in a patient care area actively serving the patients.  One cylinder each located in two separate rooms. The hospital safety officer has stated that one of the cylinders must be removed stating NFPA 2015 11.3.2. 

     Storage for non-flammable gas greater than 300 ft.³, but less than 3000 ft.³, shall comply with the requirements in through 

     Any thoughts or comments on this? 

  • Friday, November 17, 2017 8:00 AM
    Reply # 5590685 on 5590410

    My first thought that comes to mind is that if each H cylinder is actively serving a patient in two separate rooms then neither are in storage. 

  • Friday, November 17, 2017 11:06 AM
    Reply # 5591324 on 5590410

    A.ll.3.2 When determining the volume of storage, do not consider what is in use. 

     I agree cylinders in use should not be considered in storage. 

  • Saturday, November 18, 2017 7:14 AM
    Reply # 5592488 on 5590410

    These cylinders are in use and are not in storage. You could submit a question to the NFPA and they will give you a response that says these cylinders are not in storage. 

  • Saturday, November 18, 2017 9:46 AM
    Reply # 5592647 on 5590410
    Al Moon (Administrator)



    Their are a lot on inspectors trying to do a good job for patient and public safety concerning reviewing medical gas cylinders locations .


    But I think their is a clear disconnect between the understanding of medical gas storage

    and medical gases  in-use.  


    So with that said. No, you cannot storage medical gas cylinders in a patient room.

    As a whole patient room do have locked doors. You simply do not place a patient on medical oxygen and lock them in the room.


    NFPA 99 Chapter 11 Section #11.3 is for Storage Requirements Only / Not Patient In-Use.  


    11.3  Cylinder and Container Storage Requirements.

    11.3.1* Storage for nonflammable gases equal to or greater than 85 m3 (3000 ft3) at STP shall comply with and

    11.3.2* Storage for nonflammable gases greater than 8.5 m3 (300 ft3), but less than 85 m3 (3000 ft3), at STP shall comply with the requirements in through  Storage locations shall be outdoors in an enclosure or within an enclosed interior space of noncombustible or limited-combustible construction, with doors (or gates outdoors) that can be secured against unauthorized entry. 


    I do not believe NFPA 99 Chapter 5 or Chapter 11 provides a clear understanding of what can or cannot be in a patient room for point of patient use.

    (note - i have not researched all of live safety code #101)


    Lets look at a couple of numbers.


    One K oxygen cylinder has 249 cu.ft of gas or 7051 liters.

    This one cylinder of oxygen, will supply gas service to the patient for around

    24 hours at a flow rate of 4 lpm.


    So, in my opinion two large oxygen cylinders, for patient use in a patient room,

    is not a safety issue, as long as the equipment is secured and over seen by  licensed professional staff.


    The bigger question may be, should the cylinders be removed when the patient room is unoccupied ? 


    Kindest Regards 


  • Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:06 AM
    Reply # 5605585 on 5590410
    Deleted user

    Notice how large cylinders are not included in the reference below.  Is that to be interpreted that H cylinders are always considered "in storage?"

    NFPA 99, 2012 or 2015 Individual small-size (A, B, D, or E) cylinders available for immediate use in patient care areas shall not be considered to be in storage.

  • Thursday, November 30, 2017 7:12 AM
    Reply # 5607332 on 5590410

    If you want an answer to that question send a request for clarification to NFPA.

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