Emergency Oxygen Administration


What is oxygen?


Oxygen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gaseous chemical element vital to respiration.


Oxygen is one of the most widely used drugs, and is an extremely important in many medical emergencies.


Always provide emergency oxygen to a victim having difficulty breathing, if it is available, you are trained to use it and office protocols allow.


An injured or ill person can benefit greatly from receiving air with a higher oxygen concentration.


The air a person normally breathes contains approximately 21 percent oxygen. The concentration of oxygen exhaled and delivered to a victim through rescue breathing or CPR is 16 percent.


Why do we need it?


Without adequate oxygen, hypoxia, a condition in which insufficient oxygen reaches the cells, will occur. After 6 minutes without oxygen brain death occurs.


Signs and symptoms of hypoxia include


*Increased breathing and heart rate.


*Changes in level of consciousness.




*Cyanosis (bluish lips and nailbeds).


*Chest pain


Emergency oxygen should be considered if:


An adult is breathing fewer than 12 breaths per minute or more than 20 breaths per minute. Give rescue breaths one every 5 seconds.


A child is breathing fewer than 15 breaths per minute or more than 30 breaths per minute. Give rescue breaths one every 3 seconds.


To deliver emergency oxygen you need:


An oxygen cylinder.


A regulator with pressure gauge and flowmeter.


A delivery device, such as a nasal cannula, resuscitation mask, or a non-rebreather mask.


Some emergency oxygen systems deliver oxygen at a fixed-flow rate. The delivery device, regulator and cylinder are already connected, which reduces or eliminates need to assemble the equipment making it easier and quicker to deliver emergency oxygen.


But you can only deliver at a pre-set rate of either 6 liters per minute with a nasal cannula or 12 lpm with a resuscitation mask or non-rebreather mask.


To operate this type of device, the rescuer makes sure it is turned on, checks that oxygen is flowing and places the mask over the victim’s face.


Oxygen equipment intended for emergency use must deliver a minimum flow rate of 6 liters of oxygen per minute for a minimum of 15 minutes. And should be labeled.


How to deliver emergency oxygen:


Turn emergency oxygen on.


Place appropriate size mask on patient.


Have patient breath normal.


If patient is not breathing on their own begin rescue breaths.


Call 911.


If no pulse begin CPR.



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