b. Non-Rebreathing Face Mask. The most commonly used oronasal face
mask is a disposable, clear plastic type that covers the nose and mouth and has a
reservoir bag increase the inspired oxygen concentration to nearly 95 percent. Exhaled
air passes through small holes in the sides of the mask. These holes also allow room
air to be drawn in and mixed with the oxygen. This device must be used with caution
with patients who may be unable to maintain a clear airway, including patients who may
vomit easily and are unable to remove the mask to prevent aspiration of the stomach
contents. The mask must be replaced with nasal prongs while the patient eats and put
back in place after he has finished the meal. Use the face mask, not the prongs, if the
patient is unconscious or has an artificial airway.
PROCEDURE FOR SETTING UP AN OXYGEN TANK
The nasal prongs and the face mask require an oxygen source, usually from an
oxygen tank or from piped-in oxygen. Most fixed-facility hospitals have piped-in oxygen.
However, older hospitals and non-fixed facilities rely on oxygen tanks (figure 3-2) to
deliver oxygen. If an oxygen tank is to be used, it must be properly prepared.
Figure 3-2. Oxygen (02) cylinders.
a. Determine Need to Set up an Oxygen Tank. In a hospital, you will set up
an oxygen tank when required to do so by orders from the physician or supervisor or
when required to do so by the standing operating procedures (SOP). In a field situation,
the medic must use his own judgment in determining the need for oxygen.
b. Perform Handwash. Follow procedures for performing a patient care