When an accident or injury occurs, emergency oxygen is recommended virtually
all of the time. In 95% of medical emergencies, the victim is still breathing and is usually conscience;
therefore, CPR is not indicated.
Fire Department statistics show that CPR is
administered in only 5% of emergency calls, but emergency oxygen is
administered in over 90% of the calls. Emergency Oxygen can be administered by anyone who has had a basic
oxygen administration course.
Emergency oxygen could save someone's life
in a serious or life-threatening medical emergency. These situations often causes the body to be
oxygen deficient. By providing supplemental emergency oxygen, you are increasing the amount of oxygen that
the body desperately needs. If left untreated, oxygen deprivation can affect the heart,
lungs and brain. Oxygen deprivation can lead to respiratory arrest
(breathing stops), cardiac arrest (heart stops) and eventually irreversible brain damage in just a few
Supplemental Emergency oxygen is a critical
step in treating all medical emergencies. Emergency oxygen administered to a breathing victim may prevent
deterioration of the victim's condition that could also lead to shock.
When we inhale, we breath approximately 21%
oxygen from the atmosphere, normally we use about 5% of that oxygen in respiration. When we exhale, 16% (the
unused portion of oxygen) leaves our lungs through our airway.
This unused portion of oxygen can be used
for rescue breathing. Rescue breathing can be further enhanced with emergency oxygen, increasing the O2
delivered to the victim from 16% to approximately 50% at "Low" (6LPM) and by increasing the flow rate to
"High" (12LPM) approximately 100% inspired oxygen may be achieved .
American Heart Association 2010 Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and
Emergency Cardiovascular Care
Part6: Advanced Cardiovascular Life
.… use supplemental oxygen … at a flow rate of 10 to 12
LPM ...to enable delivery of 100% oxygen (initially).
.… give 100% inspired oxygen during Basic Life Support (BLS)
… and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) … as soon as it becomes
During cardiopulmonary emergencies use
supplemental oxygen as soon as it is available. Rescue breathing (ventilation using exhaled air) will ONLY
deliver approximately 16% to 17% inspired oxygen concentration to the patient.
Tissue hypoxia leads to anaerobic metabolism
and metabolic acidosis. Acid-base imbalance frequently blunts the effects of chemical and electrical therapy.
For these reasons 100% inspired oxygen (FiO2 = 1.0) is recommended during BLS and ACLS when
Short-term therapy with 100% oxygen
is beneficial and not toxic.
Emergency Oxygen Masks
Masks should be fitted with an oxygen
For mouth-to-mouth mask ventilation, we
recommend masks equipped with a 1-way valve that diverts the victim's exhaled gas. Mouth-to-mouth
ventilation has been shown to be superior to that with bag-mask devices and delivering adequate tidal volumes on
An adequate seal is best achieved with a mouth-to-mouth mask device when the rescuer is
positioned at the top of the patient's head. The rescuer ventilates the victim by sealing his or her lips around
the coupling adapter of the mask. Use both hands to hold the mask securely in position and maintain airway
patency with the head tilt.