Nippers, Ingrid and Sutton, Andrew (2014) Oxygen therapy: professional compliance with national guidelines. British journal of nursing, 23 (7). pp. 382-386. ISSN 0966-0461

One of the major causes of critical illness in the UK is the deterioration of respiratory function (British Thoracic Society (BTS), 2008). The administration of supplemental oxygen therapy, although often lifesaving, can also have serious consequences if performed inappropriately. A literature review was carried out to establish whether oxygen therapy was prescribed and administered in acute care in accordance with both national guidelines and local policy. Four common themes were identified from the literature: prescribing, monitoring, administration and equipment. The review suggests that an educational programme ranging from pre-registration curriculum content to the practical experiences of junior doctors with regard to oxygen management would be appropriate. The authors suggest that the current practice of healthcare practitioners should undergo a planned timetable of audit to improve the prescription, administration and monitoring of supplemental oxygen therapy for the benefit of patient outcomes.

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