2.18 Oxygen Therapy
Category: UWHC Clinical Policy
Policy Number: 2.18
Effective Date: December 8, 2016
Section: Respiratory Care Services
Oxygen therapy is the administration of oxygen at concentrations greater than ambient air to treat or prevent
the symptoms and manifestations of hypoxia.
A. Oxygen therapy will be administered and monitored by Nursing and a Respiratory Care Practitioner
(RCP) when indicated by provider’s order.
1. Nursing staff will initiate and assess oxygen on patients requiring venti masks, Oxymasks,
OxyTrachs and nasal cannulas.
2. Nursing staff will contact RC when patients require a non-rebreather mask.
B. Humidifiers will be used with nasal cannulas:
1. On all pediatric patients.
2. On adults requiring greater than 4 lpm.
C. In AFCH:
1. Tendergrips should be used on children who need cannula stabilization.
2. Blow-by is not an acceptable delivery mode for oxygen therapy.
3. Infant’s small tidal volume and rapid respiratory rates cause the predicted FiO2/liter flow
relationship to vary.
A. Appropriate Oxygen flowmeter.
B. Appropriate delivery device (see related link).
A. Review and acknowledge the provider’s order.
B. Review patient’s chart.
C. Obtain the appropriate equipment.
D. Introduce yourself to the patient and/or family. Explain the reason for the procedure.
E. Determine if the delivery device and associated flowrate is adequate to meet the patient’s needs.
F. Outcome is determined by clinical and physiologic assessment to establish adequacy of patient
response to therapy.
A. AARC Clinical Guidelines - Oxygen Therapy in the Acute Care Hospital.
B. UWHC RCS P&P 2.21 “Aerosol and/or Humidity Therapy
C. UWHC P&P 12:21 “Fire Prevention When Oxygen in Use.”
Approved by Director and Medical Director of Respiratory Care:
Original copy of this Policy & Procedure is available in the Respiratory Care Office [E5/489].