In August 2015, Western/Scott Fetzer Co. issued a Class I recall for the OxyTOTE Portable Oxygen Unit because it can catch on fire and explode.
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What is the problem?
The compressed gas oxygen cylinder can ignite and rupture (explode), causing serious injury and/or death. According to the recall notification:
“When the OxyTote is mishandled or dropped, the oxygen cylinder may ignite causing an internal flash fire and the canister to burst.”
Failures can occur unexpectedly and without warning and have been associated with impact blows — such as a drop, fall, or incidental contact with other cylinders due to improper handling.
Oxygen Units Linked to 1 Injury and 1 Death
The company has received two reports of incidents in which the device malfunctioned, including one injury and one death. The injury occurred when the unit was dropped from 4 feet. The death occurred when an employee set the unit down by his side but did not drop the gas cylinder.
OxyTOTE Oxygen Unit Recall
The recall includes OxyTOTE and OxyTOTE NG Series Valve Integrated Pressure Regulators (also known as VIPRs or All-in-One pressure regulators), made for use on aluminum cylinders.
About 162,000 of the portable oxygen units were sold from January 1, 2009 through September 30, 2014. Click here for a list of lot and model numbers.
What is a Portable Oxygen Unit?
Portable oxygen units provide oxygen to patients and help them regulate their breathing while allowing them to travel around. Pressurized oxygen is stored in a tank and delivered to the patient through tubing placed in their nostrils or a mask. They are primarily used in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.
What Should I Do?
Portable oxygen units are inherently more likely to be damaged than stationary units, which is why they must be handled very carefully. According to the manufacturer:
“Western stresses that all cylinder systems MUST be secured and protected from falling or tip-over during fill, during transport and at point of use. Never store the cylinder system in an elevated area where a fall could severely damage the unit. At all times, be certain to handle systems safely and avoid jarring or dropping the system.”
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