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Over oxygenation in EMS (Emergency Medical Services) - Research Paper Example

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Date Over oxygenation in Emergency Medical Services Oxygen has been a vital component of providing emergency medical services and other health-related treatment. In fact, oxygen is considered as a drug that can ease complications from hypoxia – a life threatening condition; thus, it is necessary that emergency medical providers have knowledge about oxygen administration and treatment…
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Over oxygenation in EMS (Emergency Medical Services)
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Download file to see previous pages However, just like any other medications, too much of something is bad for the body; the same goes for oxygen. Even if it ease a number of diseases, studies revealed that too much oxygen might lead to a condition known as hyperoxia. Therefore, this paper hypothesized that there is significant harm in over administration of oxygen in patients receiving emergency medical services. To support the hypothesis, a number of studies involving over oxygenation were noted in this paper; among of which include those from the Emergency Medicine Journal. According to this study, several guidelines and prehospital textbooks advocate and emphasize the use of low oxygen therapy in treating patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD); however, the study found out the reality that ambulance crews are still over oxygenating approximately 80% of COPD patients or those with acute exacerbations (Emergency Medicine Journal, n.p.). The study about COPD and oxygenation is a case-proof that eventhough oxygen is the most therapeutic agent used in the prehospital environment, it could also be the most detrimental prehospital treatment if used in excessive amount. It has also been noted that in patients with COPD, a significant increased in the concentration of carbon dioxide after oxygen therapy has been observed; thus, leading to a conclusion that hypercapnia has developed because of too much oxygenation. We all know that hypercapnia is dangerous to patients with COPD as it will worsen the acute exacerbation felt by the patients, reduce hypoxic respiratory drive, and will eventually lead to increasing severity of respiratory failure. In the review of current research on supplemental oxygen use in the prehospital field, Anderson highligted several studies which pointed out harm in hyperoxia including the insolubility of oxygen in the blood which could explain why there should be a limit in oxygenating a patient (n.p.). In addition, oxygen may also act as a vasoconstrictor in response to the autoregulation of the cardiovascular system due to increasing levels of oxygen saturation. These systemic effects, together with its implications, have been used as guiding theories for emergency medical service provider in giving early interventions to cardiac and respiratory diseases. The Cochrane Review and the American Heart Association, together with the randomized controlled trial conducted by the British American Journal, found a strong indication that oxygen may pose potential harm in patient with uncomplicated myocardial infarction; thus, the body recommended in the 2010 CPR guidelines that supplemental oxygen be no longer administered to patients with uncomplicated cardiac chest pain and oxygen saturation level of more than 94% (Anderson, n.p.). Likewise, another review pointed out that administration of supplemental oxygen to patients with cardiac arrest could be more detrimental due to the increasing mortality of experiencing cardiac arrest. An alarming findings of the review pointed out the same result from the Emergency Medicine Journal. In the review, it has been found that emergency medical services providers often administered high-flow supplemental oxygen in patients with exacerbation of COPD. A relative risk of death has resulted to this action as evidenced by the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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