Rapid and effective oxygen delivery is an essential component of the care of critically ill or injured patients. A variety of systems are available to deliver oxygen to spontaneously breathing patients. Factors that influence the appropriate choice for any given situation include the dose of oxygen required and how well the patient tolerates the device. For patients who require assisted ventilation, oxygen can be delivered with either a self-inflating or flow-inflating ventilation bag.
This topic will review various devices that are available to continuously deliver oxygen to spontaneously breathing infants, children, and adults. The amount of oxygen that each continuous system can deliver and the advantages and disadvantages of each method are discussed.
Oxygen conserving devices (eg, Oxymizer, Helios, or Invacare-Venture), oxygen therapy for newborns, indications for long-term oxygen supplementation, the use of oxygen in hypercapnic patients, issues regarding oxygen therapy during air travel, and airway management are discussed separately:
General principles regarding oxygen delivery include the following: