Nasopharyngeal Oxygen Catheters
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- Most commonly used in bronchiolitis to treat hypoxia.
- It is a catheter situated in the nasopharyngeal space with low flow oxygen, which delivers a reservoir of oxygen to the nasopharyngeal space.
- When used at low flow rates gastric distension does not occur if the catheter is correctly positioned. However, the infant should also have a nasogastric tube on free drainage.
- The nasopharyngeal oxygen catheter should be repositioned immediately if gastric distension is noted.
- Use in ages 0-2 years.
- Use a size FG8 catheter.
- Catheter position - insert via nose to a distance equal to that from nose to tragus of ear. The catheter will lie just below soft palate.
Flow Rates % O2 45ml/kg 30 77ml/kg 40 150ml/kg 50 230ml/kg 60
- Compressed oxygen from wall supply is very dry and long-term administration may damage nasopharyngeal mucosa. Heated humidification with a Fisher and Paykel humidifier and RT229 circuit is used. The humidifier and circuit should be changed weekly to reduce bacterial infection.
- The catheters often become blocked with mucus. The catheter should be removed and cleaned twice a day and prn if the patient suddenly desaturates.
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- Date last published: 18 January 2010
- Document type: Clinical Guideline
- Services responsible: Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
- Editor: John Beca
- Review frequency: 2 years
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