Administering Inhaled High Concentration Oxygen to Patients Suffering Chest Pain

1582 WordsJan 31, 20186 Pages
The practice of administering inhaled high concentration oxygen to patients suffering chest pain is widespread, has been followed for about a century, and is advised in major textbooks of emergency care, general medicine, and cardiology. There remains an expectation amongst the general public and medical practitioners that oxygen simply forms part of the standard treatment of a ‘sick’ patient (Nicholson, 2004). A review of the evolution of supplemental oxygen therapy reveals that it is not evidence-based, and there is uncertainty about the benefits and safety. This paper will discuss the different approaches of the use of high concentration oxygen therapy for the client with acute chest pain, including previously conducted trials. The physiological benefits and harms, the variation in international guidelines and the need for future research will also be analysed. Chest pain is a “common and often non-specific symptom that can be caused by a number of underlying conditions”, one of the most serious being Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI), commonly known as a heart attack (Chapman, Leslie, & Sage, 2012, p. 12). High concentration oxygen therapy, levels greater than 60%, has been advocated for the treatment of AMI and chest pain for nearly three quarters of a century (Ranchord, Perrin, Weatherall, Beasley, & Simmonds, 2012). As early as 1922, Barach noted the beneficial effects of high concentration oxygen therapy, at levels of 80-100%, in patients suffering from angina

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