Oxygen Administration

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Section 9 - Procedure Guidelines



  • Nasal Cannula: for the spontaneously adequately breathing patient with no significant compromise or potential compromise in condition. Choice is determined by severity of condition, practice parameters and patient tolerance. NC should also be considered when the patient is unable to tolerate a mask.
  • Non-Rebreather Mask: for any patient whose condition or complaint suggests that severe hypoxia or breathing may be a problem. Use on all multi-trauma patients and all patients who present with sign and symptoms of shock .
  • Bag Valve Mask (BVM):
    • Assist ventilations in the conscious or unconscious hypoxemic patient who is not moving air adequately.
    • Ventilate the apneic patient.


  • Nasal Cannula: 4 - 6 liters/minute delivers 24 - 44 % of oxygen.
  • Non-Rebreather Mask (NRB): 15 liters/minute delivers > 90 % of oxygen.
  • Bag Valve Mask, (BVM), with supplemental oxygen at 15 liters/minute and reservoir attached delivers nearly 100% oxygen.