The Trust’s respiratory specialist nursing team are holding oxygen awareness events across the Trust to promote the message of correct oxygen prescribing and monitoring at ward level.
They will be highlighting to clinical staff the importance of viewing oxygen as a drug and therefore prescribing it correctly in a patient drug chart.
Maintaining the correct level of oxygen saturation in the blood is very important. The human body requires and regulates a very precise and specific balance of oxygen in the blood. Normal blood oxygen levels in humans are considered between 95-100 percent. If the level is below 90 percent, it is considered low resulting in hypoxemia with the blood not supplying enough oxygen to the body to function properly. Blood oxygen levels below 80 percent may compromise organ function, such as the brain and heart, and should be promptly addressed. Continued low oxygen levels may lead to respiratory or cardiac arrest.
Georgie Luxford Senior Respiratory Specialist Nurse said: “Our aim is simple. We want to change how oxygen is viewed and used in a healthcare setting. By improving oxygen prescribing both in and out of hospital we can improve patient safety. As part of our awareness events we will be visiting wards throughout the Trust to highlight the importance of this message.”
There has been a drive nationally to improve oxygen prescription within hospitals following the British Thoracic Society Emergency Oxygen audit in 2013. The latest version of the British Thoracic Society emergency oxygen guidelines were released in May this year and focus on the need for an oxygen prescription with a defined target for oxygen saturation.