New national guideline on emergency oxygen use in adults

Br J Cardiol 2008;15:293
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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.