New national guideline on emergency oxygen use in adults

Br J Cardiol 2008;15:293
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News in brief from the world of cardiology

The first national guideline for the emergency use of oxygen in adults has been published, with the aim of simplifying oxygen delivery and better protecting acutely ill patients.  Developed by a working party and led by the British Thoracic Society, the guideline is published in Thorax (Thorax 2008;63[Suppl VI]:vi1–vi68), and supported by 22 professional societies and institutions.

The guideline recommends that oxygen is administered to patients whose oxygen saturation falls below the target saturation ranges (94-98% for most acutely ill patients and 88-92% for those at risk of type 2 respiratory failure with raised carbon dioxide level in the blood), and that those who administer oxygen therapy should monitor the patient and keep within those specified target saturation ranges.