oxygen therapy

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oxygen

 (O) [ok´sĭ-jen]
a chemical element, atomic number 8, atomic weight 15.999. (See Appendix 6.) It is a colorless and odorless gas that makes up about 20 per cent of the atmosphere. In combination with hydrogen, it forms water; by weight, 90 per cent of water is oxygen. It is the third most abundant of all the elements of nature. Large quantities of it are distributed throughout the solid matter of the earth because it combines readily with many other elements. With carbon and hydrogen, oxygen forms the chemical basis of much organic material. Oxygen is essential in sustaining all kinds of life. Among the land animals, it is obtained from the air and drawn into the lungs by the process of respiration. See also blood gas analysis.
Oxygen Balance andOxygen Debt.‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡‡” The need of every cell for oxygen requires a balance in supply and demand. But this balance need not be exact at all times. In fact, in strenuous exercise the oxygen needs of muscle cells are greater than the amount the body can absorb even by the most intense breathing. Thus, during athletic competition, the participants make use of the capacity of muscles to function even though their needs for oxygen are not fully met. When the competition is over, however, the athletes will continue to breathe heavily until the muscles have been supplied with sufficient oxygen. This temporary deficiency is called oxygen debt.

Severe curtailment of oxygen, as during ascent to high altitudes or in certain illnesses, may bring on a variety of symptoms of hypoxia, or oxygen lack. A number of poisons, such as cyanide and carbon monoxide,, as well as large overdoses of sedatives, disrupt the oxygen distribution system of the body. Such disruption occurs also in various illnesses, such as anemia and diseases of lungs, heart, kidneys, and liver.
oxygen 15 an artificial radioactive isotope of oxygen having a half-life of 2.04 minutes and decaying by positron emission. It is used as a tracer in the measurement of regional blood volume and flow and oxygen metabolism by positron emission tomography.
oxygen analyzer an instrument that measures the concentration of oxygen in a gas mixture. There are three types of handheld analyzers: physical/paramagnetic, electric, and electrochemical analyzers.
oxygen blender a device used to mix oxygen with other gases to any concentration between 21 per cent and 100 per cent.
oxygen concentrator an electronic device that removes nitrogen from room air, thus increasing the oxygen concentration; commonly used by patients who require long-term oxygen administration at home.
oxygen consumption the amount of oxygen consumed by the tissues of the body, usually measured as the oxygen uptake in the lung. The normal value is 250 ml/min (or 3.5 to 4.0 ml/kg/min), and it increases with increased metabolic rate.
oxygen hood a device that fits over the head of an infant or small child for administration of oxygen or aerosolized medications.
hyperbaric oxygen oxygen under greater than atmospheric pressure.
liquid oxygen oxygen in liquid form, a common storage form of oxygen; one liter of liquid oxygen will produce 860 liters of gas.
oxygen tent a large plastic canopy that encloses the patient in a controlled environment, formerly much used for oxygen therapy, humidity therapy, or aerosol therapy.
oxygen therapy
1. in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as administration of oxygen and monitoring of its effectiveness.
2. a form of respiratory care involving administration of supplemental oxygen for relief of hypoxemia and prevention of damage to the tissue cells as a result of oxygen lack (hypoxia). Oxygen can be toxic and therefore, as with a drug, its dosage and mode of administration are based on an assessment of the needs of the individual patient. Although many types of hypoxia can be treated successfully by the administration of oxygen, not all cases respond to this therapy. There also is the possibility that the injudicious use of oxygen can produce serious and permanent damage to the body tissues. The administration of oxygen should never be considered a “routine” or harmless procedure.
Adverse Effects of Oxygen. Although it is true that all living organisms require oxygen to maintain life, an environment of 100 per cent oxygen inhibits growth of living tissue cultures, and laboratory experiments have shown that hyperoxygenation of body tissues can cause irreversible damage. It is known that high concentrations of inhaled oxygen can result in collapse of alveoli because of displacement of nitrogen by oxygen. retinopathy of prematurity in premature infants was found to be caused in part by excessively high levels of oxygen in the blood.

Another serious complication of high-oxygen concentration therapy is the development of a hyaline membrane because of a deficiency of pulmonary surfactant; surfactant is vitally important to normal expansion and deflation of the alveoli. Prolonged exposure to inspired oxygen concentrations in excess of 50 per cent can impair the production of this surfactant in a patient of any age. The result is a loss of lung compliance and reduction of the transport of oxygen across the alveolar membrane.

The danger of oxygen toxicity can be minimized by careful assessment of each patient's need for oxygen therapy and systematic blood gas analysis to determine patient response and effectiveness of treatment. Symptoms of oxygen toxicity are substernal distress, nausea and vomiting, malaise, fatigue, and numbness and tingling of the extremities.
Indications for Oxygen Therapy. In general, the clinical situations in which the administration of supplemental oxygen is indicated are: (1) Profound but potentially reversible hypoxia that appears amenable to the short-term administration of high concentrations of oxygen. Examples would include the patient who is apneic, is suffering from cardiovascular collapse, or is a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. (2) Conditions in which there is a need to reduce the work load of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems and at the same time assure an adequate supply of oxygen to the tissues. Congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, and such acute pulmonary diseases as pulmonary embolism and pneumonia are examples of the types of clinical situations that are best treated by the administration of moderate levels of oxygen concentration. (3) Evidence of hypoventilation, whether from anesthesia and sedation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or other conditions. The patient who is hypoventilating is in danger of suffering from an adverse effect of oxygen therapy because increased oxygenation can lead to decreased respiratory effort. In other words, the oxygen acts as a respiratory depressant and may produce an increase in partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the arterial blood, thus contributing to rather than overcoming the problem of hypoxia. If there is evidence that the patient is hypoventilating, it may be necessary to administer the oxygen by assisted or controlled ventilation.

The delivery of appropriate and effective oxygen therapy requires frequent monitoring of arterial blood gases. An initial blood gas analysis at the time the therapy is started provides baseline data with which to evaluate changes in the patient's status.

In addition to monitoring blood gases to assess the patient's need for and response to supplemental oxygen, it is helpful to observe the patient closely for signs of hypoxemia. However, these signs are not as reliable as blood gas analysis because the clinical manifestations of hypoxemia vary widely in individual patients. The typical clinical manifestations of hypoxemia are confusion, impaired judgment, restlessness, tachycardia, central cyanosis, and loss of consciousness.
Dosage and Method of Administration. It must be kept in mind that oxygen is considered a drug and should be prescribed and administered as such; thus it is apparent that vague orders about its administration are never acceptable. There must be specific written orders for flow rate and mode of administration. Decisions about the initial dosage, as well as any changes in mode of administration and dosage, including the discontinuance of oxygen therapy, should be based on evaluation of the PO2, the PCO2, and the blood pH. (See also transcutaneous oxygen monitoring and pulse oximeter.)

The clinical signs and symptoms of hypoxemia may vary from patient to patient, and they should not be depended upon as valid indications of oxygen insufficiency. This is especially true of cyanosis, a symptom that depends on local circulation to the area, the red cell count, and hemoglobin level. In addition to the data obtained from blood gas analyses, an oxygen analyzer should be used occasionally to check inspired oxygen concentration.

In general, the dosage and mode of administration fall into the following categories. High concentrations above 50 per cent usually are prescribed when there is a need for the delivery of high levels of oxygen for a short period of time to overcome acute hypoxemia, as in cardiovascular failure and pulmonary edema. The flow rate may be as high as 12 liters per minute, administered through a close-fitting face mask with or without a rebreathing bag, or via an endotracheal tube.

Moderate concentrations of oxygen are indicated when the patient is suffering from impaired circulation of oxygen, as in congestive heart failure and pulmonary embolism, or from increased need for oxygen, as in thyrotoxicosis, in which the increased metabolic rate creates a need for more oxygen. The rate of flow should be 4 to 8 liters per minute, administered through an air entrainment mask that delivers concentrations above 23 per cent, or in a dosage of 3 to 5 liters per minute through a nasal cannula.

Low concentrations of oxygen are indicated when the patient is receiving oxygen therapy over an extended period of time, as in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and there is the possibility of hypoventilation and the danger of increased CO2 retention. The rate of flow should be 1 to 2 liters per minute, administered through a nasal cannula, or via an air entrainment mask that delivers 24 to 35 per cent oxygen.

Other methods of oxygen administration include the nasal catheter and the oxygen tent. The nasal catheter can cause some discomfort to the patient, and since it is no more and no less effective than the cannula, most therapists and patients prefer not to use it. The oxygen tent is considered by many to be obsolete, its use being limited to the administration of oxygen to children who cannot or will not tolerate other modes of delivery, and to children in whom the objective is to provide oxygen and humidity or humidity alone.
Patient Care. No matter what mode of administration is used, it is essential that the inspired air be moisturized. This is necessary to prevent drying of the respiratory mucosa and thickening of secretions that can further inhibit the flow of air through the air passages. Humidity may be provided by humidifying the oxygen with water, or by aerosoling the water into fine particles and adding it to the oxygen. Most patients need 60 to 65 per cent relative humidity at room temperature. Patients with endotracheal tubes require as close to 100 per cent humidity as possible.

Oxygen is not an explosive gas, but it does support combustion and presents a serious fire hazard. All electrical equipment should be checked for defects that could produce sparks. All appliances that transmit house current must be kept outside an oxygen tent, and all equipment with exposed switches and meters must be considered potential sources of fire. Static electricity is a minimal risk which can be further reduced by maintaining a relatively high humidity in the oxygen tent. Smoking in the immediate area of oxygen administration is prohibited and there should be signs informing visitors and others of this restriction.

When the patient is wearing a mask for an extended period of time, discomfort can be minimized by removing the mask and washing and drying the face at least every eight hours. To be effective the mask must fit snugly and follow the contour of the face. This means that reddened areas will appear where the mask has pressed against the skin. These areas should be gently massaged and the skin lightly powdered to reduce friction.

A program of infection control is especially important in the prevention of cross-infection from the equipment that is used to administer oxygen. Humidifiers and nebulizers may serve as sources of infection because they provide a medium for the growth of bacteria and molds. There is less danger of this happening when disposable equipment is used, but this does not preclude the need for a systematic development of policies and procedures to prevent and control the spread of infection. Every person involved in the care of the patient must be aware of this program and cooperate in its implementation.
transcutaneous oxygen monitoring a method for obtaining data about oxygen levels through electrodes attached to the skin. This method is preferred for ill neonates who cannot tolerate frequent drawing of blood samples for blood gas analysis. The PO2 levels obtained by cutaneous monitoring correlate with those obtained from samples of arterial blood and spare the neonate blood loss and interruption of rest.

The transcutaneous electrodes are heated to encourage an adequate supply of blood to the area of skin to which they are attached and remain in place to permit continuous monitoring of arterial oxygen levels. To avoid burns, the electrode site can be changed every two hours. An ongoing record provides information about the neonate's oxygen level at any given moment. It allows caregivers to observe the neonate's response to handling and other procedures that may require modification to avoid severe anoxia. Placing the electrodes at specific sites can also aid the diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus.

therapy

 [ther´ah-pe]
activity therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as the prescription of and assistance with specific physical, cognitive, social, and spiritual activities to increase the range, frequency, or duration of an individual's (or group's) activity.
aerosol therapy see aerosol therapy.
animal-assisted therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as the purposeful use of animals to provide affection, attention, diversion, and relaxation.
anticoagulant therapy see anticoagulant therapy.
antineoplastic therapy see antineoplastic therapy.
antiplatelet therapy the use of platelet inhibitors such as aspirin, dipyridamole, or sulfinpyrazone, to inhibit platelet adhesion or aggregation and so prevent thrombosis, alter the course of atherosclerosis, or prolong vascular graft patency.
art therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as facilitation of communication through drawings or other art forms.
aversion therapy (aversive therapy) a form of behavior therapy that uses aversive conditioning, pairing undesirable behavior or symptoms with unpleasant stimulation in order to reduce or eliminate the behavior of symptoms. The term is sometimes used synonymously with aversive conditioning.
behavior therapy see behavior therapy.
carbon dioxide–oxygen therapy see carbon dioxide–oxygen therapy.
chest physical therapy see under physical therapy.
client-centered therapy a form of psychotherapy in which the emphasis is on the patient's self-discovery, interpretation, conflict resolution, and reorganization of values and life approach, which are enabled by the warm, nondirective, unconditionally accepting support of the therapist, who reflects and clarifies the patient's discoveries.
cognitive therapy (cognitive-behavioral therapy) a directive form of psychotherapy based on the theory that emotional problems result from distorted attitudes and ways of thinking that can be corrected. Using techniques drawn in part from behavior therapy, the therapist actively seeks to guide the patient in altering or revising negative or erroneous perceptions and attitudes.
collapse therapy a formerly common treatment for pulmonary tuberculosis in which the diseased lung was collapsed in order to immobilize it and allow it to rest. pneumonolysis and thoracoplasty are methods still sometimes used to collapse a lung and allow access during thoracic surgery.
combined modality therapy treatment of cancer using two or more types of therapy, such as with chemoradiotherapy. Called also multimodality therapy.
compression therapy treatment of venous insufficiency, varicose veins, or venous ulceration of the lower limbs by having the patient wear compressing garments such as support hose.
continuous renal replacement therapy hemodialysis or hemofiltration done 24 hours a day for an extended period, usually in a critically ill patient.
convulsive therapy treatment of mental disorders, primarily depression, by induction of convulsions. The type almost universally used now is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), in which the convulsions are induced by electric current. In the past, drugs were sometimes used.
couples therapy marital t.
diet therapy treatment of disease by regulation of the diet.
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) (electroshock therapy) see electroconvulsive therapy.
endocrine therapy treatment of disease by means of hormones; called also hormonal or hormone therapy.
estrogen replacement therapy administration of an estrogen to treat estrogen deficiency, such as that occurring after menopause; there are a number of indications, including the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis and coronary artery disease, and the prevention and treatment of vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes and of thinning of the skin and vaginal epithelium, atrophic vaginitis, and vulvar atrophy. In women with a uterus, a progestational agent is usually included to prevent endometrial hyperplasia. Called also hormone replacement therapy.
exercise therapy: ambulation in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as promotion of and assistance with walking to maintain or restore autonomic and voluntary body functions during treatment and recovery from illness or injury.
exercise therapy: balance in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as use of specific activities, postures, and movements to maintain, enhance, or restore balance.
exercise therapy: joint mobility in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as the use of active or passive body movement to maintain or restore joint flexibility.
exercise therapy: muscle control in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as the use of specific activity or exercise protocols to enhance or restore controlled body movement.
family therapy
1. group therapy of the members of a family, exploring and improving family relationships and processes, understanding and modifying home influences that contribute to mental disorder in one or more family members, and improving communication and collective, constructive methods of problem-solving.
2. in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as assisting family members to move their family toward a more productive way of living.
gold therapy chrysotherapy.
group therapy see group therapy.
helium-oxygen therapy see helium-oxygen therapy.
hemodialysis therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as management of extracorporeal passage of the patient's blood through a hemodialyzer. See also hemodialysis.
hemofiltration therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as cleansing of acutely ill patient's blood via a hemofilter controlled by the patient's hydrostatic pressure. See also hemofiltration.
highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) the aggressive use of extremely potent antiretroviral agents in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus infection.
hormonal therapy (hormone therapy) endocrine therapy.
hormone replacement therapy the administration of hormones to correct a deficiency; usually used to denote estrogen replacement therapy occurring after menopause.
host modulating therapy efforts to control periodontal disease by directly targeting the host response; an example is the use of drugs that do this, such as sub-antimicrobial doses of doxycycline, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, or bisphosphonates.
humidification therapy (humidity therapy) the therapeutic use of air supersaturated with water to prevent or correct a moisture deficit in the respiratory tract; see also humidity therapy.
immunosuppressive therapy therapeutic immunosuppression.
inhalation therapy the term formerly used for respiratory care (def. 3).
intravenous therapy (IV therapy) in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as administration and monitoring of intravenous infusions of fluids and medications.
leech therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as the application of medicinal leeches to help drain replanted or transplanted tissue engorged with venous blood.
marital therapy a type of family therapy aimed at understanding and treating one or both members of a couple in the context of a distressed relationship, but not necessarily addressing the discordant relationship itself. In the past, the term has also been used in a narrower sense to mean what is defined as marriage therapy, but that is increasingly considered a subset of marital therapy. Called also couples therapy.
marriage therapy a subset of marital therapy that focuses specifically on the bond of marriage between two people, enhancing and preserving it.
milieu therapy
1. treatment, usually in a psychiatric treatment center, that emphasizes the provision of an environment and activities appropriate to the patient's emotional and interpersonal needs.
2. in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as the use of people, resources, and events in the patient's immediate environment to promote optimal psychosocial functioning.
multimodality therapy combined modality therapy.
music therapy
1. the use of music to effect positive changes in the psychological, physical, cognitive, or social functioning of individuals with health or educational problems. Music therapy is used for a wide variety of conditions, including mental disorders, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease and other conditions related to aging, brain injury, substance abuse, and physical disability. It is also used for the management of acute and chronic pain and for the reduction of stress.
2. in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as using music to help achieve a specific change in behavior or feeling.
neoadjuvant therapy in single-agent therapy or combined modality therapy for cancer, initial use of one modality, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, to decrease tumor burden prior to use of another modality, usually surgery.
nutrition therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as administration of food and fluids to support metabolic processes of a patient who is malnourished or at high risk for becoming malnourished. See also nutrition.
occupational therapy see occupational therapy.
optometric vision therapy a treatment plan prescribed to correct or improve specific dysfunctions of the vision system; it includes, but is not limited to, the treatment of strabismus (turned eye), other dysfunctions of binocularity (eye teaming), amblyopia (lazy eye), accommodation (eye focusing), ocular motor function (general eye movement ability), and visual-motor and visual-perceptual abilities.
oral rehydration therapy (ORT) oral administration of a solution of electrolytes and carbohydrates in the treatment of dehydration.
oxygen therapy see oxygen therapy.
peritoneal dialysis therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as administration and monitoring of dialysis solution into and out of the peritoneal cavity. See also peritoneal dialysis.
physical therapy see physical therapy.
play therapy see play therapy.
pulp canal therapy root canal therapy.
PUVA therapy [psoralen + ultraviolet A], a form of photochemotherapy for skin disorders such as psoriasis and vitiligo; oral psoralen administration is followed two hours later by exposure to ultraviolet a radiation.
radiation therapy see radiation therapy.
recreation therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as the purposeful use of recreation to promote relaxation and enhancement of social skills.
reminiscence therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as using the recall of past events, feelings, and thoughts to facilitate pleasure, quality of life, or adaptation to present circumstances.
renal replacement therapy therapy such as hemodialysis or transplantation that takes the place of nonfunctioning kidneys. See also continuous renal replacement therapy.
replacement therapy treatment to replace deficient formation or loss of body products by administration of the natural body products or synthetic substitutes. See also replacement. Called also substitution therapy.
respiratory therapy respiratory care.
root canal therapy that aspect of endodontics dealing with the treatment of diseases of the dental pulp, consisting of partial (pulpotomy) or complete (pulpectomy) extirpation of the diseased pulp, cleaning and sterilization of the empty root canal, enlarging and shaping the canal to receive sealing material, and obturation of the canal with a nonirritating hermetic sealing agent. Called also pulp canal therapy.
shock therapy obsolete term for convulsive therapy.
simple relaxation therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as the use of techniques to encourage and elicit relaxation for the purpose of decreasing undesirable signs and symptoms such as pain, muscle tension, or anxiety.
speech therapy the use of special techniques for correction of speech disorders.
substitution therapy replacement therapy.
swallowing therapy in the nursing interventions classification, a nursing intervention defined as facilitating swallowing and preventing complications of impaired swallowing.
thrombolytic therapy the administration of drugs for thrombolysis (dissolution of a thrombus in an artery), to reduce the size of occlusion and thereby reduce damage to muscular tissue; the coronary artery is a commonly used site. Agents commonly used are streptokinase and tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA).
thyroid replacement therapy treatment of hypothyroidism by administration of thyroxine, usually in the form of levothyroxine sodium. Called also thyrotherapy.
ultraviolet therapy see ultraviolet therapy.

ox·y·gen ther·a·py

treatment in which an increased concentration of oxygen is made available for breathing, through a nasal catheter, tent, chamber, or mask.

oxygen therapy1

any procedure in which oxygen is administered to a patient to relieve hypoxia.
method Of the many methods for providing oxygen therapy, the one selected depends on the condition of the patient and the cause of hypoxia. Low or moderate amounts of oxygen may be supplied to postoperative patients by a nasal catheter or cannula. A precise amount of oxygen may be delivered by a Venturi mask. Patients with chronic obstructive lung disease must receive low-flow oxygen to prevent the elimination of their stimulus to breathe (low O2 levels). If hypoxia is the result of impaired cardiac function, a high concentration of oxygen may be delivered by a nonrebreathing or partial rebreathing mask. Humidity and drugs in aerosol form may be given with oxygen through a variety of devices, such as an aerosol face mask, Croupette, or T-piece.
interventions Thorough and careful observation of the patient's need for oxygen and response to therapy are important. The concentration of oxygen received by the patient must not be assumed by the rate and concentration at which it is delivered; a person whose respirations are rapid and shallow receives more oxygen than does a person breathing deeply and slowly. Many clinical situations require frequent laboratory evaluations of the levels of arterial blood gases or oxygen saturation levels by means of pulse oximetry. Thorough knowledge of the equipment used and the condition being treated enables the nurse to care safely and effectively for the patient who requires oxygen.
outcome criteria Oxygen therapy may be used in the treatment of any condition that results in hypoxia. Although there are several kinds of hypoxia, all result in hypoxemia. Oxygen administration may relieve hypotension, cardiac arrhythmias, tachypnea, headache, disorientation, nausea, and agitation characteristic of hypoxia, as well as restore the ability of the cells of the body to carry on normal metabolic function.

oxygen therapy2

a nursing intervention from the Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) defined as administration of oxygen and monitoring of its effectiveness. See also Nursing Interventions Classification.
A generic term for any non-‘mainstream’ use of O2 as a therapeutic modality—e.g., nonconventional hyperbaric O2 therapy, H2O2 (oxidation therapy), ozone therapy

ox·y·gen ther·a·py

(oks'i-jĕn thār'ă-pē)
A medically supervised use of pure oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, or ozone to treat a wide range of health problems.
Synonym(s): biooxidative therapy.

oxygen therapy

The administration of oxygen at higher levels than are normally found in the atmosphere to patients needing enhanced tissue oxygen uptake. Oxygen can be administered via nasal cannulae, Venturi masks, nonrebreathing masks, continuous positive-pressure ventilation devices, endotracheal tubes, or in airtight or hyperbaric chambers, depending on the needs of the patient. Each of these modes of therapy has its own benefits and limitations. Nasal cannulae facilitate speaking and eating but can deliver oxygen in concentrations only up to 40%. Venturi masks can deliver more oxygen (approx. 50%) s more precisely than nasal devices, but they interfere with some communication and oral intake. The highest levels of noninvasive oxygen therapy are delivered by nonrebreather masks (approx. 90%). One hundred percent oxygen can be given through endotracheal tubes, but patients are often uncomfortable or hemodynamically unstable with these devices and may need sedation or paralytic or pressor drugs to support them. Continuous positive-pressure ventilation devices can be used to administer oxygen, but they are not tolerated by some patients because of claustrophobia and poor adaptation to the fit of the mask. Supplemental oxygen is also available for home use through an oxygen concentrator that uses a molecular sieve to remove nitrogen from room air. See: hyperbaric oxygen; oximeter

CAUTION!

Inhalation of high concentrations of oxygen, esp. at pressures of more than one atmosphere, may produce deleterious effects such as irritation of the respiratory tract, reduced vital capacity, and, sometimes, neurological symptoms. Serious eye defects may result if premature infants are exposed to a high concentration of oxygen as part of their therapy. Because oxygen provides a perfect environment for combustion, it should not be used in the presence of oil, lighted cigarettes or open flames, or where there is the possibility of electrical or spark hazards.
Enlarge picture
TRANSTRACHEAL OXYGEN THERAPY
Enlarge picture
TRANSTRACHEAL OXYGEN THERAPY

transtracheal oxygen therapy

The delivery of oxygen via a small plastic cannula inserted directly into the trachea through a small surgical opening in the cricothyroid membrane of the neck.
See: illustrationillustration

oxygen therapy

Treatment in which the inhaled air contains a much higher concentration of oxygen than normal atmospheric air. Oxygen therapy is appropriate for conditions in which the oxygen concentration in the blood is reduced for any reason. It is also used to improve the oxygen supply to the tissues even when the haemoglobin of the blood is fully saturated. It achieves this by increasing the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood plasma. Oxygen is given by light plastic masks or by soft tubes fitting comfortably into the nostrils (NASAL CANNULAE).

oxygen therapy

inhalation of gaseous oxygen, to increase blood oxygen saturation to optimum levels, i.e. to > 90%, as evidenced by a pulse oximeter

ox·y·gen ther·a·py

(oks'i-jĕn thār'ă-pē)
Treatment in which an increased concentration of oxygen is made available for breathing, through a nasal catheter, tent, chamber, or mask.

oxygen

a chemical element, atomic number 8, atomic weight 15.999, symbol O. See Table 6. It is a colorless and odorless gas that makes up about 20% of the atmosphere. In combination with hydrogen, it forms water; by weight, 90% of water is oxygen. It is the most abundant of all the elements of nature. Large quantities of it are distributed throughout the solid matter of the earth, because the gas combines readily with many other elements. With carbon and hydrogen, oxygen forms the chemical basis of much organic material. Oxygen is essential in sustaining all kinds of life.

oxygen analyzer
an instrument that measures the concentration of oxygen in a gas mixture.
oxygen deficiency
significant cause of losses in cultivated finfish in enclosed dams, but also in rivers and estuaries, caused by lack of natural aeration of the water or to heavy algal blooms, bushfire ash deposits and overcast conditions leading to respiration rather than photosynthesis or a high concentration of organic matter and leading to the development of a bacterial bloom; a high temperature exacerbates the development.
oxygen flux equation
a calculation that determines the rate at which oxygen is made available to tissues, based on cardiac output and arterial oxygen content.
oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curve
a graphic explanation of the release and acquisition of oxygen from and to the hemoglobin in the blood in varying circumstances of oxygen partial pressure in the environment.
oxygen regulator
see reducing valve.
oxygen saturation
the amount of oxygen bound to hemoglobin in the blood expressed as a percentage of the maximal binding capacity.
oxygen saturation curve
graphical representation describing the relationship (usually curvilinear) between fraction of oxygen-binding sites (of a protein) that have oxygen bound to them and the partial pressure (concentration) of free oxygen.
oxygen tank
the heavy metal cylinder in which medical gases are compressed at high pressure. Called also oxygen cylinder.
oxygen tension
see tension (2).
oxygen tent
an enclosed space or plastic canopy used for oxygen therapy, humidity therapy or aerosol therapy.
oxygen therapy
supplemental oxygen administered for the purpose of relieving hypoxemia and preventing damage to the tissue cells as a result of oxygen lack (hypoxia). Companion animals are usually placed in a special cage with oxygen piped to it. A mask is used for short-term administration. Large animals can be supplied by a nasal tube taped in place to deliver oxygen into the pharynx.
oxygen toxicity
tissue damage may occur with exposure to high concentrations of oxygen for long periods. See also retrolental fibroplasia.
oxygen-transfer chain
a functional chain describing the transfer of oxygen from the external environment to the metabolizing tissue; includes uptake in the respiratory system, binding to hemoglobin, transport through the circulatory system, diffusion and dissociation in tissues and utilization in mitochondria, i.e. oxidatable substrates and enzymes.
oxygen transport
process of transfer of oxygen around the body either attached to hemoglobin or myoglobin.

therapy

the treatment of disease; therapeutics. See also treatment.

animal-assisted therapy
the treatment of humans, usually for mental or psychological illness, which incorporates familiarization with a companion or pleasure animal. Called also pet-facilitated or pet-assisted therapy. See also animal facilitated therapy.
anticoagulant therapy
the use of drugs to render the blood sufficiently incoagulable to discourage thrombosis.
heat therapy
see hyperthermia (2).
immunosuppressive therapy
treatment with agents, such as x-rays, corticosteroids and cytotoxic chemicals, which suppress the immune response to antigen(s); used in organ transplantation, autoimmune disease, allergy, multiple myeloma, etc.
inhalation therapy
see aerosol.
neoadjuvant therapy
given before the primary treatment, such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy, radiation therapy.
oxygen therapy
the administration of supplemental oxygen to relieve hypoxemia and prevent damage to the tissue cells as a result of oxygen lack (hypoxia). See also oxygen therapy.
physical therapy
use of physical agents and methods in rehabilitation and restoration of normal bodily function after illness or injury; it includes massage and manipulation, therapeutic exercises, hydrotherapy, and various forms of energy (electrotherapy, actinotherapy and ultrasound). See also physical therapist.
radiation therapy
treatment of disease by means of ionizing radiation. See also radiotherapy.
replacement therapy
treatment to replace deficient formation or loss of body products by administration of the natural body products or synthetic substitutes.
serum therapy
serotherapy; treatment of disease by injection of serum from immune animals.
substitution therapy
the administration of a hormone to compensate for glandular deficiency.
vaporization therapy
see aerosol.