selected depends upon the condition of the patient, the concentration of oxygen
required, and the preference of the physician. The following equipment will be
Oxygen source (O2 tank o piped-in wall outlet)
A cylinder regulator (O2 tank) or a flow meter (wall O2)\
Sterile or distilled water.
b. Administration devices include:
(1) A nasal cannula is a rubber or plastic tube with short curved prongs that
extend into the nostrils about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. The cannula is held in place with an
elastic band that fits around the patient's head. It is used to administer low to medium
concentrations of oxygen. A flow rate of 2-6 liters/minute should provide an oxygen
concentration of 25-35 percent. Start the oxygen flow prior to inserting the prongs into
the patient's nostrils.
(2) A venturi mask is a facemask designed to deliver precisely controlled
oxygen concentrations by providing oxygen mixed with room air. A fixed flow of oxygen
is mixed with a flow of air to produce a constant oxygen concentration regardless of rate
of breathing. Masks are designed to provide 24 percent, 28 percent, 31 percent, 35
percent, 40 percent, and 50 percent oxygen concentrations. The mask should be
assembled according to the manufacturer's instructions for the oxygen concentration
prescribed by the physician. Start the oxygen flow at the specified flow rate and adjust
the mask over the patient's nose and mouth.
(3) A simple facemask is designed to provide low to medium oxygen
concentration using liter flow rates of 2-8 liters/minute. Simple masks come in many
sizes and configurations. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for use of the mask.
Always begin the oxygen flow prior to placing the mask over the patient's nose and
(4) Re-breathing masks are designed for inhalation of moderately high
concentrations of oxygen from a reservoir bag. A partial re-breathing mask has
perforations on both sides of the mask that serves as exhalation ports. Inspired oxygen
concentrations of 50-60 percent can be achieved. The non-re-breathing mask differs
from the partial re-breathing mask in that it has a one-way valve between the mask and
the reservoir bag that ensures that the patient receives only 100 percent oxygen from
the reservoir bag. The mask has two flapper valves over the exhalation ports that allow
the patient to exhale, but prevent inhalation of room air that would dilute the oxygen