maximizing 02: face mask + nasal cannula

7 Mar

good read: article by Dr. Levitan in EP Monthly. Click through for the whole article, but here’s a 10-second highlight:

Combining nasal and face mask oxygen tremendously boosts the FiO2.

This happens because the nasal oxygen addition doubles flow rates (15 lpm via nose and 15 lpm via non-rebreather), it forces open the soft palate, and the nose is a significant oxygen reservoir. When the patient takes their next breath, they inspire a higher FiO2 than with a face mask alone.

While we are taught a non-rebreather at 15 lpm is almost 100% FiO2, it is actually closer to only 60% due to the accumulation and rebreathing of CO2 in the mask, hypopharynx, and nasopharynx.

With nasal cannula and non-rebreather mask combined we can effectively reach almost 100% FiO2.”


For more, check out some previous posts on passive pre-oxygenation:

passive preoxygenation – a radical concept

Pearls of Pre-oxygenation During Airway Management

References: article; picture


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