Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different oxygen types?

Q:   Is it true that Medical and Welders Oxygen differs from Aviation Oxygen?

A: There are no different grades of oxygen being produced or contained in cylinders under DOT regulations.


What is the difference between standard and flare-tip cannulas?

 Q. I am not sure I understand the difference between the standard tip and the flare-tip EDS cannula.
Can you explain to me the difference and when and how each should be used?

A. As you know EDS stands for our Electronic Delivery System (Pulse-Demandâ„¢)
The triggering of the system depends on the EDS unit sensing the drop in pressure during the initial part of each inhalation. This is sensed internally by a pressure sensor, which then triggers a valve and delivers a pulse of Oxygen.

In most cases, the standard tip cannula will accommodate this requirement.
However, if the user is experiencing trouble triggering the EDS unit or has larger than average size nostrils, then the flare-tip cannula should be used.
This acts like a gasket, taking up some of the room between the Cannula and the nostril. By doing so the ability of the EDS unit to sense the drop in pressure during inhalation is increased.

Cannula EDS Tips w-text copy


Generally speaking, with small or normal size nostrils the standard cannula is recommended.

While with larger nostrils or if having trouble triggering, the flare-tip cannula is recommended, allowing for the proper fit of the cannula.

Care should also be taken when donning the cannula to make sure that the cannula tab is pointing down towards the lip and the contour of the tips conforms to the natural contour of the nasal passage.

 Cannula-EDS curve w-text copy


It should also be noted that some effort during the inhalation process is required to trigger the EDS unit.
By design, shallow or at rest type breathing most likely will not trigger the EDS unit, as this is also an indication of an onset apnea condition, which the unit is programmed to alarm.



Does Your Pulse Oximeter Mean What It Says?

Does Your Pulse Oximeter
Mean What it Says? (Does Your Spouse?)

FAR 91.211 requires supplemental oxygen after 30 minutes above 12,500 feet MSL and continuously above 14,000 feet and for pax above 15,000 feet MSL. A pulse oximeter can show you why.

Finger pulse oximeters are mainly useful to reassure you that your oxygenation is OK (90+%), or that you should don oxygen or troubleshoot the situation (85% or below). The fact that their readings are often inaccurate and  misleading does not mean that they are useless!


What can you tell me about Cylinder Hydro Testing?

All DOT approved pressure cylinders require testing at regular intervals.
This is to ensure that no unsafe condition exisits that would preclude it from performing to its next inspection interval.
Most of the times this can be performed locally by major gas suppliers that distribute welding and breathing gasses.
If one can not be found we can have that service performed for you.

Below is a PDF that should answer most of the questions that you might have as well as help identify the testing interval for your cylinder.

PDF image
Hydro Testing of Aviation Cylinders


That helps, but how do I read my cylinder marking to determine the Test Date?

The manufacture and test dates are located stamped at the crown of the cylinder if it is Steel or Aluminum.
If the cylinder is of composite material then it would be located on the identification tag.

The next PDF will help illistrate how to read the stampings.

PDF image
Oxygen Cylinder Markings


What Every Pilot Should Know about Oxygen

 What Is Air?
The air surrounding us is a mixture of gases consisting of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. The remaining 1% is made up of argon, carbon dioxide, and traces of rare gases.


More Frequently Asked Questions

What is hypoxia and what can happen with prolonged hypoxia?


Hypoxia is the physical condition induced by an inadequate concentration of oxygen in the blood and the organs. The insidious danger of hypoxia is the subject's unawareness of his deteriorating faculties which may actually be perceived as a feeling of well-being or euphoria. Prolonged exposure to moderate to severe hypoxia could result in brain damage to the extent of total intellectual deficiency. Note: there is a wide variability in individual tolerance.