How Oxygen Machines Are Used in First Aid and Medical Emergencies

Using Oxygen Machines in Medical Emergencies

Oxygen machines deliver oxygen to patients who have low levels of oxygen in their blood or who have difficulty breathing. Medical oxygen supplies can provide oxygen through nasal prongs, masks, or tubes and are used in first aid and medical emergencies for various reasons. This article will discuss how using oxygen machines in medical emergencies could improve patient outcomes.


Why Oxygen Machines Are Used in First Aid and Medical Emergencies

To Treat Hypoxia

Hypoxia is a condition where the body does not receive enough oxygen, which can cause symptoms such as confusion, drowsiness, headache, and cyanosis (bluish skin). Hypoxia can be caused by many factors, such as lung diseases, heart problems, high altitudes, carbon monoxide poisoning, or severe bleeding. Oxygen machines can help increase the oxygen level in the blood and prevent organ damage or death.

To Assist Ventilation

Ventilation is the process of moving air in and out of the lungs. Some patients may have difficulty breathing due to conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, or chest trauma. Oxygen machines can help these patients breathe more easily by providing supplemental oxygen and positive pressure. Oxygen machines can also be connected to mechanical ventilators, which are machines that breathe for the patient when they are unable to do so on their own.

To Prevent Tissue Damage

Tissue damage is the injury or death of cells in the body, which can lead to inflammation, infection, or necrosis (tissue death). Tissue damage can be caused by many factors, such as burns, wounds, infections, or ischemia (lack of blood flow). Oxygen machines help prevent or reduce tissue damage by delivering oxygen to the affected areas and enhancing the healing process. Oxygen machines can also be used in hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which is a treatment that involves exposing the patient to high levels of oxygen in a pressurised chamber. This help treat conditions such as carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness, or diabetic foot ulcers.

To Relieve Pain

Pain can affect the quality of life and the ability to function of the patient. Oxygen machines can help relieve pain by providing oxygen to the brain and the nerves, which can reduce the perception of pain and induce a calming effect.

To Improve Exercise Tolerance

Exercise tolerance is the ability to perform physical activity without experiencing undue fatigue, breathlessness, or chest pain. Some patients may have low exercise tolerance due to conditions such as heart failure, angina, or anaemia. Oxygen machines improve exercise tolerance by providing oxygen to the muscles and the heart and can also be used in rehabilitation programmes designed to help the patient recover from illness or injury and restore their function and mobility.

To Support Life

Life support is the use of medical devices or techniques to sustain the vital functions of the patient, such as breathing, circulation, or brain activity. Some patients may require life support due to conditions such as coma, stroke, or cardiac arrest. Oxygen machines are essential for life support, as they provide oxygen to the organs and tissues of the patient and prevent hypoxia and tissue damage.


Oxygen machines can be lifesaving and beneficial for many patients, but also have some risks and limitations, such as oxygen toxicity, fire hazard, or equipment malfunction; therefore, they should be used with caution and under the supervision of a trained professional.


Situations Where Oxygen Machines Are Used in First Aid and Medical Emergencies

Using Oxygen Machines in Medical Emergencies

In critical moments, when every second counts, oxygen therapy can make a world of difference.  But how exactly do these machines function in such situations? Let’s explore eight keyways oxygen machines are used as lifesaving tools:


Reversing Hypoxia

The primary purpose of oxygen therapy is to address hypoxia, a condition where the body’s tissues are deprived of adequate oxygen. This can occur due to various reasons, such as choking, drowning, smoke inhalation, or severe asthma attacks. By delivering supplemental oxygen, the machine helps increase the oxygen levels in the bloodstream, improving vital organ function and promoting recovery.

Supporting Cardiac Arrest Victims

During a cardiac arrest, the heart stops functioning, preventing oxygenated blood from reaching the organs. While CPR focuses on restoring circulation, providing supplemental oxygen helps maintain tissue oxygenation until the heart restarts, improving the chances of survival.

Aiding Patients with Respiratory Difficulties

Individuals suffering from respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, COPD, or severe allergies can experience breathing difficulties. Oxygen therapy provides much-needed support by supplementing their oxygen intake, making breathing easier and alleviating symptoms.

Stabilising Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Victims

Carbon monoxide poisoning disrupts the body’s ability to transport oxygen through the bloodstream. Oxygen therapy is a critical component of treatment, delivering high concentrations of oxygen to displace carbon monoxide and improve oxygen delivery to vital organs.

Assisting Trauma Patients

Traumatic injuries can impact breathing due to pain, internal bleeding, or chest wall injuries. Oxygen therapy helps stabilise these patients by increasing oxygen levels and ensuring proper oxygenation while medical personnel address the underlying trauma.

Enhancing Recovery After Surgery

Following certain surgeries, particularly those involving the lungs or heart, patients may experience temporary breathing difficulties. Oxygen therapy provides supplementary oxygen during this critical recovery phase.


Important Considerations:

While oxygen therapy is a valuable tool, it’s crucial to remember that it serves as a supportive measure in conjunction with other emergency medical interventions performed by trained professionals.

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