Oxygen is a common practice in sick children.

  • It is very important to remember that oxygen is now considered as a drug and it needs to be prescribed by a doctor before it is administered
  • Like any Drug, excess of this can cause side effects to the patient and hence it needs to be used very judiciously
  • Oxygen is always given as FiO2 or the fractional inspiration of oxygen
  • Methods of giving oxygen
  • The various methods of administration provide different quantities of oxygen (FiO2)
  • The choice of oxygen device is made based on the age of the child and the requirement of Fio2.
  • In children less than 8 months, the head box or nasal prongs can be comfortable
  • In older children you can use the nasal prongs or the masks.
  • Most of these techniques supply dry air which can irritate the respiratory system. So for prolonged use beyond a couple hours, you may need to humidify it.

MethodMaximum FiO2Ideal Flow rate
Nasal prongs   50%< 1 L to 5 Liter
Mask without reservoir50%5 to 10L
Mask with reservoir90%5 to 10L
Head box95%5 to 10L

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