Supplemental O2

Supplemental O2 will depend on multiple factors including nose versus mouth breathing, fit of mask, minute ventilation

blow by editBlow by Nasal Cannula or Mask
Flow Rate: up to 10L/min
FiO2:  <30%

  • Passive oxygenation for via nasal cannula or face mask for agitated children unable to tolerate other means of oxygenation
  • Unreliable means of oxygenation with variable results


Nasal Cannula
Flow Rate: 1-6L/min
FiO2: 21%-40%

  • The most commonly used oxygen therapy in adults
  • Unless the oxygen is humidified and heated, rates greater than 6L/min are not well tolerated
  • Oxygen concentration is also dependent on respiratory rate, depth of breathing and mouth breathing
  • Does not provide positive pressure
  • Useful in apneic oxygenation and preoxygenation
  • FIO2 = 21% + 3%(L/min) roughly

hi flow nasal cannula edit

High Flow Nasal Cannula
Flow Rate: up to 60L/min
FiO2: 21-100%

  • Humidification required at high flow rates
  • Preferred in patients unable to tolerate a mask or NIPPV
  • Creates positive pressure by opposition of expiration
  • Evidence for both hypercapnic and hypoxic respiratory failure
  • Growing evidence for pre-oxygenation and apneic oxygenation
  • Dependent on respiratory rate, depth of breathing and mouth breathing


simple face maskSimple Face Mask
Flow Rate: 5-6L/min
FiO2: 30-50%

  • Minimal reservoir may prevent some CO2 rebreathing
  • No significant advantage over nasal cannula


partial rebreatherPartial Rebreather Mask
Flow Rate: 10-15L/min
FiO2: 50-60%

  • Simple face mask with a reservoir decreases CO2 rebreathing
  • Bag must inflate for reservoir to work


Nonrebreather Mask
Non-rebreather mask
Flow Rate: 10-15L/min
FiO2: 60-95%

  • Two one-way valves limit rebreathing of expired air and mixing of room air
  • Third valve is often left open in case of oxygen failure
  • Considered standard of preoxygenation
  • Upper limit of FiO2 dependent on seal to face and open third valve


Venturi MaskVenturi-Mask-Colours
Flow Rate: 3-15L/min
FiO2: 24-50%

  • Simple face mask with corrugated tubing with attached colored diluter
  • Colored diluter is responsible for selecting specific FiO2
  • Recommended O2 flow rate increases with FiO2
  • Used in patients with a stable oxygen requirement


Article by Terren Trott @tsquaredmd