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Different Types of Oxygen Delivery Systems in Healthcare

Different Types of Oxygen Delivery Systems in Healthcare

Oxygen therapy is the administration of supplemental oxygen to patients who have low blood oxygen levels due to various medical conditions. Oxygen therapy can be delivered by different devices and accessories, depending on the patient’s medical oxygen needs, clinical situation, and availability of resources. In this article, we will discuss the different types of oxygen delivery systems in healthcare.

 

Different Types of Oxygen Delivery Systems in Healthcare

 

Nasal Cannula

A nasal cannula is a simple device that consists of a plastic tubing with two prongs that are inserted into the nostrils. The tubing is connected to an oxygen source that delivers a low to moderate flow of oxygen, usually between 0.5 to 6 litres per minute (LPM). A nasal cannula can provide an estimated fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) of 24% to 40%, depending on the flow rate and the patient’s breathing pattern.

A nasal cannula is suitable for patients who have mild to moderate hypoxia and require long-term or continuous oxygen therapy. It is easy to use, comfortable, and allows the patient to eat, drink, talk, and move freely.

 

Simple Face Mask

A simple face mask is a device that covers the nose and mouth and has holes on the sides that allow air to escape. The mask is connected to an oxygen source that delivers a moderate flow of oxygen, usually between 5 to 10 LPM. A simple face mask can provide an estimated FiO2 of 30% to 50%, depending on the flow rate and the fit of the mask.

A simple face mask is suitable for patients who have moderate hypoxia and require short-term or intermittent oxygen therapy. It is easy to apply and remove and can deliver higher FiO2 than a nasal cannula.

 

Non-Rebreather Mask

A non-rebreather mask is a device that covers the nose and mouth and has a reservoir bag attached to it. The reservoir bag collects oxygen from an oxygen source that delivers a high flow of oxygen, usually between 10 to 15 LPM. The mask also has one-way valves that prevent exhaled air from entering the reservoir bag and ambient air from entering the mask. A non-rebreather mask can provide an estimated FiO2 of 60% to 80%, depending on the flow rate and the size of the reservoir bag.

A non-rebreather mask is suitable for patients who have severe hypoxia and require high FiO2 for short periods of time.

 

Venturi Mask

A venturi mask is a device that covers the nose and mouth and has a cone-shaped adapter attached to it. The adapter has a small hole that allows a fixed amount of oxygen to mix with a fixed amount of ambient air, creating a constant FiO2 regardless of the patient’s breathing pattern. The adapter also has different coloured valves that correspond to different FiO2 levels, ranging from 24% to 60%. The mask is connected to an oxygen source that delivers a variable flow of oxygen, depending on the desired FiO2.

A venturi mask is suitable for patients who have moderate to severe hypoxia and require precise control of FiO2 for long periods of time.

 

High Flow Nasal Cannula

A high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) is a device that consists of a heated and humidified tubing with two prongs that are inserted into the nostrils. The tubing is connected to an oxygen source that delivers a high flow of oxygen, usually between 20 to 60 LPM. A HFNC can provide an estimated FiO2 of 21% to 100%, depending on the flow rate and the oxygen concentration.

A HFNC is suitable for patients who have moderate to severe hypoxia and require high FiO2 and high flow for long periods of time.

 

Nebulizer

A nebulizer is a device that converts liquid medication into a fine mist that can be inhaled by the patient. The nebulizer is connected to an oxygen source that delivers a low to moderate flow of oxygen, usually between 6 to 10 LPM. A nebulizer can provide an estimated FiO2 of 35% to 50%, depending on the flow rate and the type of nebulizer.

A nebulizer is suitable for patients who have respiratory diseases that require aerosolized medication, such as asthma, COPD, or cystic fibrosis. It can deliver oxygen and medication simultaneously and can improve the delivery and absorption of the medication into the lungs.

 

Mechanical Ventilation

Mechanical ventilation is a device that delivers oxygen and air to the patient’s lungs through an artificial airway, such as an endotracheal tube or a tracheostomy tube. The device is connected to an oxygen source that delivers a variable flow of oxygen, depending on the desired FiO2. Mechanical ventilation can provide an exact FiO2 of 21% to 100%, depending on the settings of the device.

Mechanical ventilation is suitable for patients who have severe hypoxia and respiratory failure that cannot be treated by other oxygen delivery devices. Mechanical ventilation can deliver precise and controlled FiO2 and ventilation parameters. However, mechanical ventilation requires intubation or tracheostomy, which can cause complications such as infection, bleeding, trauma, or barotrauma.

 

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a device that pumps blood out of the patient’s body through a cannula inserted into a large vein or artery. The blood then passes through an artificial lung that oxygenates the blood and removes carbon dioxide.

ECMO is suitable for patients who have severe hypoxia and respiratory failure that cannot be treated by mechanical ventilation or other oxygen delivery devices.

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