Emergency Oxygen Therapy: From Guideline to Implementation
OXYGEN
21 Jan 2019

Emergency oxygen treatment is used two million times a year by ambulance
services and almost one in five hospital patients in the UK are being treated with oxygen at any one time.

Oxygen is a frequently used drug in the clinical setting and it unquestionably saves lives. However, the use of oxygen must be carefully considered. Similar to any other drug, it’s inappropriate usage may cause harm. In practice, a common misconception that “oxygen won’t hurt” or “you can’t give too much oxygen” has evolved. This has resulted in higher levels of oxygen therapy being delivered to patients who are critically unwell or who might complain of dyspnea, resulting in an increase on their stay periods, higher rates of admission to high dependency units, and increased risk on the loss of life.

Every cell in our human body needs oxygen for its survival. During an emergency, the body may deliver or inspire (inhale) lower than normal levels of oxygen(O2), which can lead to organ and/or brain damage, and cardiac arrest. Using supplemental oxygen may help to delay damage to vital organs, stabilize the heart, and even save a life. Issuing emergency oxygen helps to increase the oxygen concentration in the lungs, resulting in more oxygen to be absorbed into the Bloodstream. The hypothesis for giving emergency oxygen treatment is to treat low blood oxygen levels (also called hypoxaemia) where the body’s cells are deprived of oxygen, which may cause damage to vital organs which might also lead to death. Oxygen can be used to help serve a number of lung diseases, such as pneumonia or deteriorations in asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Oxygen is also used with other diseases such as heart failure and sepsis, which does not directly involve the lungs.

Guidelines and Implementation

Oxygen equipment should suit a victim’s lifestyle and help them to stay as independent as possible. It can be delivered from cylinders, concentrators, cans or as liquid oxygen. Concentrators are the most common device for LTOT delivery.

Oxygen therapy is delivered with the help of a nasal cannula or mask. Nasal cannula is more common, thanks to the comfort and its tolerance but it may have variable oxygen delivery. Venturi masks are designed to deliver accurate concentrations where it is clinically important to correct oxygen levels, often during acute episodes.

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Safety Guidelines on How to use MyOxy Can

  • Store the MyOxy Can in a well-ventilated environment in an upright position
  • Place the MyOxy Can at least at a minimum distance of 10 feet from flammable or extinguishable items. e.g candles, fireplace, gas heater, cleaning fluids, and paint thinners
  • Place the MyOxy portable oxygen can an at least at a minimum distance of 6 inches from walls, curtains or any other object that may block the filer and/or prevent air circulation around it
  • Inform your family about where your MyOxy Can is kept and what are its Do’s and Don’ts
  • Do not use petroleum-based lubricants like chapstick, vaseline, or blistex on chapped lips or nostrils before or while using MyOxy Can
  • Do not use any electrical appliances while using MyOxy Can such as irons, hair dryers, steam pipes, electric razors, furnaces, and radiators
  • Do not use oily hands or oil-based lotions just before using MyOxy
  • Do not use Alcohol-based hand sanitizers just before using MyOxy Can

 

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