Oxygen Delivery Devices in COVID-19

Tutorial presented by Dr Simon Barry, Respiratory Consultant and National Respiratory Clinical Lead.


Patients with COVID-19 who end up on a COVID-19 Ward generally present with oxygenation failure, and therefore oxygen therapy is important in the supportive care of these patients. A quick reference guide for administering oxygen to patients with COVID-19 has been has been developed to guide safe and effective use of oxygen delivery devices during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is based on safety and efficacy of treating oxygen failure and preserving oxygen supplies.

Suitable devices:

  • Nasal cannulae (2-4 litres/minute)
  • Hudson face mask (4-10 litres/minute)
  • Non-rebreather mask (10-15 litres/minute)
  • CPAP with entrained oxygen (15 litres/minute)
  • Respiflo system (up to 98% FiO2)
  • High flow nasal oxygen therapy
  • CPAP with humidification

May be suitable:

  • Venturi mask (May be suitable in patients who need tight control on their FiO2 (e.g. COPD)
  • Nebuliser (May be suitable in some patients with underlying lung disease (particularly asthma)
  • Oxygen humidifiers

Last updated: 10/02/2021

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Modes of Oxygen Delivery in COVID-19

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