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Respir Care. 1995 Nov;40(11):1125-9.

The impact of a postoperative oxygen therapy protocol on use of pulse oximetry and oxygen therapy.

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1
Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent evidence suggests that both pulse oximetry monitoring and oxygen (O2) therapy may be used inappropriately at times, implying the need for improved use of pulse oximetry by health-care providers.

METHODS:

We studied the clinical and financial impact of a postoperative O2-therapy protocol in 2 groups of patients. Group 1 (n = 20) was comprised of patients whose physicians made all O2 therapy management decisions. Group 2 (n = 20) was comprised of patients whose O2 therapy management was performed by respiratory therapists according to an algorithm with a stop criterion of SpO2 > or = 92%. The duration of postoperative O2 therapy, the frequency of unnecessary O2 therapy, and group totals of SpO2 measurements were compared between groups using the Mann-Whitney Rank Sum Test.

RESULTS:

O2 therapy was used on average (SD) 3.45 (1.28) days/patient in Group 1 and 2.1 (0.64) days/patient in Group 2 (p < 0.003). Sixteen Group-1 patients continued to receive O2 at least 24 hours after achieving a room-air SpO2 > or = 92%. Group 1 had 57 SpO2 measurements and Group 2 had 24 (p < 0.003). No adverse clinical events ascribed to hypoxemia were noted in either group.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our experience suggest that implementing a uniform, clinically appropriate 'stop criterion' for low-flow O2 therapy in nonthoracic postoperative patients can shorten the duration of O2 therapy and reduce the number of SpO2 measurements without incurring additional complications.

PMID:
10152852
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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