Nasopharyngeal oxygen in adult intensive care - Lower flows and increased comfort

G. M. Eastwood, J. H. Reeves, B. S. Cowie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Nasopharyngeal oxygen therapy, the delivery of supplementary oxygen into the nasopharynx via a fine catheter placed through the nose, is a simple technique used in postoperative anaesthetic care units and paediatric intensive care, but never described in the setting of adult intensive care. In a prospective crossover design, we compared nasopharyngeal oxygen therapy with semi-rigid plastic mask (Hudson Mask) in 50 unintubated adult patients receiving supplemental oxygen. We measured oxygen flow rate to achieve cutaneous saturations 93 to 96%, and patient comfort by visual analogue score. Nasopharyngeal oxygen therapy consumed significantly less oxygen than mask administration (3.0± 0.9 vs 67±2.1 l/min, P<0.001) and was associated with significantly higher comfort than the mask (75± 1.6 cm vs 5.2±1.8, P<0.001).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-671
Number of pages2
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Intensive care: oxygen, nasopharyngeal

Cite this