An oxygen mask is a device used to give Intensive Care patients extra oxygen while they are sick.
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How Does It Work?
There are a number of different masks used which allow the delivery of different amounts of extra oxygen. They all have an oval shaped plastic cup which fits over a patient’s mouth and nose and is kept in place by elastic straps. The mask is connected to an oxygen or air source using a short piece of tubing. This source is usually a wall supply however cylinders are also used. The type of mask used will be decided by the Intensive Care doctors and may well change as the patient's condition changes. This will be closely monitored by the Intensive Care clinical staff. To assist with this patients will usually have an oxygen saturation monitor attached to their finger or ear.
Are There Any Complications?
The most common problem with oxygen therapy given via an oxygen mask is a dry mouth. This is easily overcome by drinking small amounts of water or rinsing the mouth if unable to take oral fluids. However this may not be possible for some patients. All Intensive Care interventions and procedures carry a degree of potential risk even when performed by skilled and experienced staff. Please discuss these issues with the medical and nursing staff who are caring for the patient.
Oxygen Masks Version 1.2
First published June 2004
Reviewed March 2010
Reviewer Kaye Rolls
Any Further Concerns?
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with the ICU nurses and doctors.
The information contained on this page is general in nature and therefore cannot reflect individual patient variation. In addition it reflects Australian intensive care practice which may differ from other countries. It is meant as a back up to specific information which will be discussed with you by the Doctors and Nurses caring for your loved one. ICCMU attests to the accuracy of the information contained here BUT takes no responsibility for how it may apply to an individual patient. Please refer to the full disclaimer.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2011 15:03