Basic Course for Planning and Managing Medical Oxygen

This course will be taught remotely on the Virtual Campus as a technical and administrative resource to improve the planning and management of medical oxygen and to strengthen the rational, sustainable and safe use of medical oxygen, thus supporting the countries in the Americas in the current response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in the daily operation of hospitals.

Course program

Course introduction

Oxygen is included in the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines and is used to care for patients at all levels of integrated health service networks.

Because oxygen use efficacy is already proven in the treatment of patients with respiratory conditions caused by COVID-19, there is a great opportunity to improve its effectiveness if its use is promoted in a rational, sustainable and safe way.

It is important for health service network professionals to have access to specific knowledge that enables a more professional management in rational oxygen use. This will make it possible to rationalize its consumption and prevent the efficiency loss of this gas during its storage, distribution and administration. These insights will also strengthen proper technical support for all oxygen production systems. They will also help reduce waste that may be produced by leaks in the storage system or distribution network, by use of gas at an incorrect pressure or by flow meters with incorrect adjustments, among other causes.

This course seeks to convey basic informative and educational content on medical oxygen. The content includes all the stages in oxygen management: from manufacturing, storage, distribution and controls to dispensing to patients.

Thus, this course has 8 sessions which are:


-         What is medical oxygen?

-         Safe oxygen supply matrix

-         Oxygen consumption and reserve planning

-         Hazardous oxygen sources

-         Oxygen acquisition

-         Financial analysis and purchase options

-         Safety during clinical applications


That participants acquire theoretical knowledge on how to plan and manage oxygen, promoting its use in a rational, sustainable and safe way in health care establishments (hospitals, clinics, home use, etc.)


Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Know the kinds of medical oxygen, how they are produced and made available for health establishments and home care.
  • Know how to generate a supply matrix to increase supply safety.
  • Know how to estimate oxygen consumption for strategic clinical, administrative and technological planning.
  • Identify main risk sources and action mechanisms when transporting, storing and distributing oxygen.
  • Specify cylinders and therapy devices for oxygen use.
  • Financially analyze purchase or production options.
  • Safety of oxygen use in clinical applications.

Target Audience

This course is intended for all staff related or involved with acquiring, distributing, purchasing and using medical oxygen, with greater emphasis on those in charge of managing, purchasing and maintaining oxygen sources, cylinders and accessories related to medical oxygen use.

Course Length

Two hours.

Course modality

Self-learning, free, open-to-public and open-term course.

Evaluation and certification

Participants take a small test after each session that allows them to strengthen cquired knowledge.

 Participants who meet the requirements described and complete the quality survey of the Virtual Campus for Public Health (VCPH) at the end of the 8-session virtual course can download their course passing certificate issued by the Pan American Health Organization.


  • Recommendations to adopt and acquire oxygen generating plants by pressure swing adsorption: to be published this week.


Last update: 01/Apr/2024