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Same Tool, Enhanced Use: Nasal Cannula Apneic Oxygenation

April 27, 2015 - 18 minutes and 45 seconds
Guest:  Dr. Mark Westfall, Medical Director for Gold Cross Ambulance - Fox Valley and the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin 

It’s not uncommon for an ambulance crew or medical first responder to treat patients with low or falling O2 sats, or have to insert or manage the airway devise in an unconscious patient.  Then there’s that challenge of getting a good face to mask seal with the bag valve mask. 

Managing or achieving sufficient oxygen levels can be tricky, especially when the heart monitor or pulse ox is alerting you to low oxygen saturation levels, the patient’s skin or lip color isn’t good, or you are preparing to insert an advanced airway and need to preoxygenate the patient.  These and other situations can be a stressful time for any patient care giver.

If you’ve been around EMS long enough, you know there are tricks of the trade.  I came across a new one the other day, so I wanted to learn more about it and I’m sure you will too.  The approach is so simple, and the tools required are inexpensive and already at your finger tips. 

The procedure is called nasal cannula apneic oxygenation.  With medical director approval, first responders to paramedics can perform this simple procedure – and it can make all the different to your low sating patient.  The procedure is being done at Gold Cross Ambulance in the Fox Valley.  Their medical director, Dr. Mark Westfall, brought to my attention this simple, but effective procedure.  Listen to this episode of EMS to the Point.

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