Methods of Oxygen Administration
As a general rule, all patients oxygen saturation levels should stay above 90% unless otherwise directed. Oxygen saturation is measured by an oxygen saturation probe (O2 sat probe) that is usually placed on a patient's fingertip. If it is not reading appropriately, you can also place the O2 sat probe on the toes, the ear lobe, or even across the patient's forehead. As a patients oxygen demands increase, you must change the method that you deliver the oxygen. The types of equipment listed below are the most common types equipment you will see used. Each type of oxygen delivery system can only accommodate a certain amount of oxygen flow. Always keep in the back of your mind, "Why is my patient's oxygen demand increasing?" Something else is going on that should be looked into ! Does the patient have a history of COPD or are they developing septic shock or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)? Make a routine for how your perform your nursing respiratory assessments and be sure to always be thorough. Accurately count their respiratory rate and look for signs of shortness of breath. Think outside the box if your patient is deteriorating.