Sports First Responder Level 3 (VTQ)

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Nasal Cannula

Video 199 of 201
1 min 48 sec
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Nasal Cannula: Efficient Oxygen Delivery

1. Introduction to Nasal Cannula

Simple Oxygen Delivery:

  • Nasal cannulas are devices used for oxygen delivery to patients.
  • They connect to the constant flow outlet of an oxygen cylinder and have two small plastic prongs placed into the nostrils.

2. Oxygen Concentration Levels

Adjustable Concentrations:

  • Nasal cannulas provide oxygen at concentrations ranging from 24% to 44%, depending on factors like oxygen flow rate, the patient's nasal breathing, and speech.
  • Higher oxygen concentrations (over 30-35%) are generally challenging to achieve with nasal cannulas.

3. Suitability and Tolerance

Well-Tolerated and Limited Applicability:

  • Nasal cannulas are suitable for patients who can breathe freely through their nose and require a lower oxygen concentration.
  • They are generally well-tolerated and cause less discomfort compared to standard masks.
  • Not recommended for patients needing higher oxygen concentrations.

4. Maximum Flow Rate

Flow Rate and Oxygen Concentration:

  • For safe use, the maximum flow rate should not exceed 6 litres per minute, as higher rates can lead to discomfort and issues.

5. Flow Rate vs. Oxygen Concentration

Flow Rate and Corresponding Oxygen Concentrations:

  • 1 litre per minute - 24%
  • 2 litres per minute - 28%
  • 3 litres per minute - 32%
  • 4 litres per minute - 36%
  • 5 litres per minute - 40%
  • 6 litres per minute - 44%

6. Usage in Medical Settings

Application in Medical Care:

Nasal cannulas are typically not used in first aid or out-of-hospital emergency treatment as they cannot provide the higher oxygen concentrations often required in such situations.