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Respir Care. 2018 Apr;63(4):412-416. doi: 10.4187/respcare.05567. Epub 2017 Dec 26.

Evaluation of Safety and Cost of an Open-Design Oxygen Mask in a Large Community Hospital.

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Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield, Illinois.
Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield, Illinois.



In our large community hospital, we observed that traditional oxygen masks were sometimes set at an inappropriately low flow. We hoped to eliminate this safety concern through adoption of an open-design oxygen mask. We also hoped that more immediate flow changes would lead to a decrease in medical gas consumption. Finally, by standardizing to one mask, goals were to reduce the cost of oxygen delivery.


We conducted a retrospective analysis, 12 months before and 12 months after implementation of the open-design oxygen mask. Unusual occurrence reports related to supplemental oxygen delivery were reviewed. Oxygen device use and bulk oxygen consumption were recorded. The total number of patient days was obtained from the electronic medical record.


There were no unusual occurrence reports or concerns involving an oxygen device in those areas that converted to the open-design oxygen mask. In fiscal year 2014, bulk oxygen use was 13,036,686 cubic feet, and there were 74,734 patient days. In fiscal year 2016, bulk oxygen use was 12,072,610 cubic feet and there were 99,428 patient days. The reduction in oxygen consumption was $3,670 despite the increase in patient days. In fiscal year 2014, 3,848 oxygen devices were used for a cost of $3,411, and in fiscal year 2016, 5,512 devices were used for a cost of $12,963. The net savings from open-design oxygen mask conversion was $23,487 annual and corrected for increased patient population. Oxygen consumption and supply cost per patient day resulted in $1.19 per patient day pre-implementation and $0.95 after implementation of the open-design oxygen mask (P = .003).


The open-design oxygen mask may be a safe and less costly alternative to traditional oxygen delivery devices.


carbon dioxide; costs and cost analysis; oxygen; pulmonary circulation; respiration; safety


Conflict of interest statement

The authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest.

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