Oxygen therapy is a treatment commonly used for adult patients in clinical and community settings. It is therefore important that nurses and other members of the healthcare team caring for patients requiring oxygen therapy have knowledge of the relevant physiology and pathophysiology, along with the safe and effective use of oxygen devices, patient monitoring and oxygen prescribing. This two-part article aims to explore and discuss these aspects in relation to current evidence and best practice recommendations that members of the healthcare team can apply when caring for such patients in a range of settings. Part one discusses the physiology of respiration and the importance of adequate oxygenation within the human body; it covers other relevant physiology and pathophysiology, along with the reasons why adult patients may require oxygen therapy. The authors describe the physiology and pathophysiology associated with the uptake and delivery of oxygen from the lungs to the body cells. Oxygen devices will be discussed in the second article, along with the importance of patient assessment, care, management, safety and patient monitoring.
- Oxygen therapy
- Respiratory failure