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Oxygen Therapy


Specialist Training Oxygen Therapy Specialist Training Oxygen Therapy Welcome Welcome to this web based knowledge session on Oxygen Therapy. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen Therapy
Specialist Training
Welcome to this web based knowledge session on
Oxygen Therapy. It should take you approximately
15 minutes to complete this material. How to
use this pack To go to the next page, please
click the button. To go to the
previous page, please click the button.
To go to the first page, please click the
button. To display additional points on a
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Additional information will be displayed in a
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Aims Objectives
By the end of this session you will have
knowledge of
Conditions that require oxygen therapy Benefits
of oxygen therapy Types of oxygen therapy Health
Safety Fire Health Safety Dosage Health
Safety Comfort Oxygen Supply
As Prestige Nursing is expanding its specialist
services you may come across service users on
Oxygen Therapy. This module will give you some
background to this treatment and make you aware
of some of the crucial safety issues when looking
after a service user that uses oxygen.
Oxygen can be regarded as a type of medication,
so please also refer to our eLearning module on
Medication Awareness to understand your
responsibilities and limitations when it comes to
dealing with medicines.
Conditions that require oxygen therapy
Oxygen is prescribed to treat the condition
chronic hypoxia (low blood and tissue oxygen
levels). This can be caused by a number of
conditions of the lung and heart such
as Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Chronic bronchitis Emphysema Severe asthma
Interstitial lung disease such as fibrosing
alveolitis and asbestosis Cystic Fibrosis
Pulmonary hypertension Oxygen may also be
prescribed to treat patients who will require
oxygen for palliative care or for short burst
Benefits of Oxygen Therapy
People with these health problems have to work
much harder to obtain all the oxygen they need.
The extra effort involved means that they can
feel breathless and tired, particularly after
walking or coughing. Breathing in extra oxygen
will increase the amount that is absorbed in the
blood and this has a beneficial effect on all the
systems of the body that have suffered as a
result of the lower oxygen levels.
Sleep better
These are the types of improvements that service
users can expect in their daily life
Less breathless
Better able to exercise
More energy for everyday activities
Feel less irritable
Benefits of Oxygen Therapy
The extra oxygen in the blood will also improve
the body's functions. It will
Increase oxygen delivery to the body thus
reducing the work of the heart and the strain put
on it Reduce cardiac arrhythmias (irregular
heart beats) Prevent excessive red blood cell
production that would result in thicker blood and
poorer flow through all blood vessels Reduce the
deterioration of pulmonary haemodynamics (blood
flow to the lungs) Improve function of all the
major organs due to better oxygen delivery
Types of Oxygen Therapy
Be aware however, that oxygen therapy is not
necessarily right for everyone with a heart or
lung condition. A specialist will assess the
person to determine whether oxygen therapy is
appropriate. It is not the same as being on a
ventilator as it does not control when the person
inhales and exhales. So what are the different
types of oxygen service?
Oxygen can be obtained from compressed oxygen
cylinders, liquid oxygen in cylinders or from an
oxygen concentrator machine, which extracts
oxygen from the air. Oxygen for short periods
traditionally used to relieve breathlessness and
for palliative care will usually be supplied via
oxygen cylinders.
Image jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Types of Oxygen Therapy
For people who have been shown to benefit from
oxygen for a significant number of hours a day,
often taken whilst asleep, oxygen concentrator
machines are convenient and ensure that service
users have a source of oxygen that never runs out.
The Supplier is responsible for providing an
oxygen delivery system that meets the clinical
needs of the service user. This would have been
set out on the order form by the clinician. The
form does not normally indicate a specific
mode of delivery or item of oxygen equipment,
although the clinician may indicate a requirement
for a conserving device, specific nasal cannulae
or mask, or a humidifier. There are four
companies in England and Wales that can supply
Image jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Health Safety - Fire
Lets now look at some of the most important
aspects that you, as a care worker, must consider
when looking after somebody who is on oxygen
therapy. There are some very important Health and
Safety issues that you must remember.
Firstly and very importantly, oxygen makes
materials burn much more vigorously than normal
air. Therefore, never ever let your service user
or anybody else smoke while they are using their
oxygen equipment or for up to 30 minutes
Equally your service user should not be using the
equipment near open fires or naked flames.
Image Francesco Marino / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Health Safety - Fire
When storing oxygen ensure that the containers
are kept away from sources of heat and are not
stored near flammable materials, such as paint or
heating gas cylinders. Also, keep the containers
away from large quantities of combustible
materials, such as paper or cardboard.
Materials which become enriched with oxygen from
leaks from the oxygen system will burn very
vigorously if ignited. Therefore, medical oxygen
should only be used in a well ventilated area and
internal door should be kept open while the
oxygen cylinder is in use.
Image nuttakit/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Health Safety - Fire
Now that you know that oxygen enrichment can have
disastrous effects, can you think of other things
that you should look out for?
Show Me
Never allow your service user to place their
oxygen equipment near curtains or cover them with
clothing or other material objects, as this will
restrict air circulation. Never leave the cannula
or mask on the bed or in the chair whilst the
oxygen is being supplied. Ensure that when your
service user is not using their oxygen that the
supply system is turned off. Never let your
service user use or carry the portable vessel
under any clothing.
Health Safety - Fire
Always follow the advice given to you about how
to safely store and use cylinders or liquid
To prevent oxygen from leaking, cylinders must be
stored either laid down or secured upright to
prevent them falling over. Liquid reservoir
vessels must be stored upright. When
transporting oxygen in a car, make sure that the
cylinders or vessels are secured to prevent them
from moving.
Image Renjith Krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Health Safety - Fire
If the worst happens and a fire does break out,
you must be familiar with fire procedures   1.
Raise the alarm If you hear the fire alarm
make your service user safe 2. Identify the area
where fire is 3. Call for help 999 4. Tackle
the fire if safe to do so 5. Evacuate to an
assembly point 6. Close doors and windows 7.
Check everyone is out of the building 8. Go to
assembly point
Image Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Health Safety - Dosage
Another crucially important point that you must
remember is that oxygen is prescribed by a doctor
who also stipulates the dosage. Therefore, if you
are working with a service user and they are
experiencing breathing problems, you must not
change the oxygen dosage. The dosage can only be
changed by a doctor.
If your service user is experiencing breathing
difficulties monitor their breathing rates and
patterns. Make sure that they are in a semi prone
position where possible to maximise air intake.
If you are concerned you must urgently ring the
person stipulated in the care
plan, which may be your branch manager, the
district nurse or the GP. Never alter the
oxygen dosage of your own accord!
Health Safety - Comfort
When oxygen is administered the nose or mouth can
get very dry, causing discomfort to your service
user. You need to make sure that your service
user has access to water if they require it.
Also, lip salve or vaseline can be a welcome
relief for dry lips.
Another area to look out for is that pressure
sores may develop where the tubing rubs against
the service users skin. If the oxygen is
administered via a nasal cannula pressure sores
may develop on the side of the service users
face if they sleep with the cannula attached. If
you notice any pressure sores, you should monitor
these and document any changes. You may also need
to advise
the District Nurse. Sometimes gauze swabs placed
between the tubing and the skin can help protect
potential sore areas.
Oxygen Supply
As a care worker you would not generally get
involved in the ordering of a service users
oxygen supply, however, you may be present when
it gets delivered and may be able to help your
service user to connect their supply. The
tubing needs to be carefully connected and should
not be longer than 15 meters as this will
restrict the flow. Also ensure that it doesnt
get kinked or trapped under furniture.
Help to check that there is an adequate supply of
oxygen in the equipment by checking the gauge on
the cylinder valve or on the vessel. Never allow
the oxygen cylinder to empty completely. The
cylinder valve should be closed when the supply
is not in use.
This module has covered some basic information
about oxygen therapy. Please remember that oxygen
is prescribed like medication and the dosage is
stipulated by a doctor. You must not alter the
dosage even if your service user is experiencing
breathing difficulties. If this is the case you
must urgently inform the person stipulated in the
care plan, e.g. your branch manager, the district
nurse, or the GP. You must also remember that
oxygen can pose a fire risk and take the
necessary precautions as well as reminder your
service user of these. Never allow your service
user or anybody else to smoke while oxygen is
being administered and keep the cylinders away
from heat sources or open fire. Ensure that you
are familiar with fire procedures if the worst
does happen.
Well done! You have completed this web based
package on Oxygen Therapy. Please now complete
the assessment on Oxygen Therapy.
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