f. Position Patient. Place the patient in the semi-Fowler's position for ease of
g. Record the Procedure on the Nursing Notes. Record the time the
treatment was initiated, the method used, the rate of flow, and the patient's response to
h. Manage the Patient and Equipment at Regular Intervals.
(1) Observe the patient for mental confusion, for disturbed
unconsciousness, and for abnormal color. Check for any change in the patient's blood
pressure and for increasing heart and respiratory rates.
(2) Check the equipment. Make sure that the tubing connections are intact,
the flow meter registers at the prescribed rate, and the nasal prongs or face mask is
positioned properly. Check the water level in the humidifier and refill as needed.
Change the cannula, humidifiers, tubing, and other equipment exposed to moisture on a
daily basis. The equipment is changed daily because moisture can promote bacterial
growth, thus rendering the equipment contaminated and creating conditions which can
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH OXYGEN THERAPY
a. Post "Oxygen" and "No Smoking" signs. These signs should be posted on
the cylinder in use, in oxygen storage areas, and at entrances to a ward or room where
oxygen is in use. The chief danger in using oxygen is fire. The pressure of oxygen in
increased concentrations makes all materials more combustible. Things that burn
slowly in ordinary air will burn violently and even explosively in the presence of
b. Inform the patient and visitors of the requirement for no smoking and no open
flames in the room. None of these should be a problem in the modern hospital since
smoking is not allowed in any Army hospital or other federal buildings; however, in third
world countries, this may not be the case.
c. Ensure that oil or grease is not used around the oxygen fittings. (Petroleum-
based products will burn.)
d. If an oxygen tank is used, secure it away from the door and high traffic areas
to reduce potential unauthorized tampering of cylinder gauges and to reduce the
possibility of the cylinder being knocked over and the valve being damaged or broken.
e. Use only nonsparking wrenches on tanks.