Exploding Portable Oxygen Units Forces Recall from Western Enterprises

Exploding Portable Oxygen Units Forces Recall from Western Enterprises
Image: NCCC
August 18, 2015

Western Enterprises is issuing a recall for its OxyTOTE Portable Oxygen Unit due to safety concerns.

Western, a division of the Scott Fetzer Company out of Westlake, OH, made the announcement after the company received reports that when the OxyTote is mishandled or dropped, the oxygen cylinder may ignite causing an internal flash fire and the canister to burst.

The firm has received two reports of incident in relation to this defect, including one injury and one death. When the injury occurred, the unit was dropped from four feet. When the death occurred, the user did not drop the gas cylinder, but set it down by his side. Over 160,000 units have been distributed in the United States.

Portable oxygen units provide oxygen to patients to help regulate their breathing while allowing them to travel around. Pressurized oxygen is stored in a special container and is delivered to the patient through tubing that is placed in the nostrils or through a mask.

Hospitals, other health care facilities, and users should take steps to ensure that their OxyTOTE is safe. First, you should determine if your unit is affected by the recall. All lot numbers on units made prior to Oct. 1, 2014 for the model numbers listed on this page are included. If yours is listed among the affected, you should contact your OxyTOTE representative directly to schedule the repair or replacement of the product. Western Enterprises can be contacted at (800) 783-7890, extension 2516.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.