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Oxygen Tanks & Smokers!

This really burns me up. I was at the hospital two nights ago because I've had a terrible cough. My husband took me to the ER when I started having difficulty breathing and my lips were slightly blue. I was still alert and able to answer questions (in between coughing fits) but I was very uncomfortable and wheezing. However, when my hubs asked if I could have oxygen or something to help me, the ER staff said they didn't have anything like that available right now-in the waiting room there were several people with wheelchairs and oxygen tanks. At least 3 of those people left their chairs at different points while I was in the waiting room to go out and smoke! I was so upset I was practically in tears! Do you think there should be some sort of rule that you have to give up the oxygen tank the hospital has given you while you wait if you're going to go outside so smoke?!

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Asked by erinwhitt at 2:36 PM on Feb. 23, 2011 in Health

Level 17 (4,305 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • Woah. Absolutely. Did the hospital discourage them from smoking?

    Answer by TARARENEE at 2:41 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • That gets me too. But then I'm sure the smoking was a big reason they ended up in the chairs in the first place.
    wonder what would happen if they had taken the oxygen away when they went out for a smoke????

    'oh, gee I thought you left!' Can you see them trying to argue that they had to go out and smoke?

    Answer by ItsMe89 at 2:42 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • I didn't see anyone say anything to them and I was glaring at them the whole time. I really do try not to be judgmental but they all had what I like to call "white trash face." The real sunken in gaunt cheekbones and sucked in mouth (from having their teeth rot out of their head) I mean, no wonder they couldn't breathe and needed help! They were smoking! Hello!!

    Comment by erinwhitt (original poster) at 2:42 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • smoking and oxygen tanks do not mix at all. we tried to tell my aunt that before she died. she finally did quit smoking. here she was functioning on one darn lung and smoking with the tank right there. i would get up and take my kids and leave. there was a guy who did this all the time to. he took his own life last year lighting up with the tank on and blew up his home. I do not smoke , i used to but i would have never used a tank and smoke.

    Answer by WildCat73 at 2:53 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • it wouldn't matter..when you're ill, you want everyone to cater to your needs, despite someone else's need, especially in an emergency situation. you can blame their lifestyle all you want for their need to be in the ER/oxygen, but doesn't change the fact that they had it first. primary rule of the was still issued to that person, whether they left for a few minutes to smoke or to use the bathroom.

    now, in a triage situation, if you really needed the oxygen, the staff would've found oxygen for you. it was a hospital, for god's sake. apparently, you weren't deemed that needy.

    Answer by dullscissors at 2:55 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • Dullscissors: I dont know, I wasn't really expecting everyone to cater to my needs. I was very patient in the waiting room, but it would have been nice if the tank had been given to me, someone who doesn't smoke and takes care of their lungs, rather than someone who doesn't give a damn...

    Also, I live in an apartment and two of my neighbors are on oxygen tanks. Both of them smoke. They rarely go outside to smoke. I live in fear of the building exploding (I dont know if that's actually possible and if the damage done would be significant enough to make the whole building go up, but still...whatever happened to common courtesy?!)

    Comment by erinwhitt (original poster) at 2:58 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • It's also a safety issue, isn't it?

    Answer by TARARENEE at 3:02 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • Oh, I'm sorry, let me clarify. They weren't taking the oxygen tanks outside with them to smoke. They were just getting up and leaving their jackets or something on them to go outside and smoke. I don't think the hospital would have allowed them to smoke.

    Also, I just remembered that the hospital claimed to be a smoke free campus...

    Comment by erinwhitt (original poster) at 3:04 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • our local hospital used to allow smoking in the hospital in the 70's and 80's until a woman caught on fire... her oxy tank had a leak that put a ton of oxygen under her blankets, she lit up a cig and was engulfed in flames, it took forever for the hospital back and running. so they were one of the first smoke free places in the area in the 80's. i see why you would be pisse dbut they cannot take their stuff that they most likely brought from home.

    Answer by AmaliaD at 3:21 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • Also, lemme clarify. They were tanks that belonged to the hospital because they had the hospitals name on them. Sorry I didn't specify that originally.

    Comment by erinwhitt (original poster) at 3:22 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

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