Objective: To determine the effect of bilateral nasal oxygen supplementation on tracheal airway and arterial blood gas parameters.
Design: Original research.
Setting: Research Laboratory.
Animals: Eight normal dogs.
Measurements: Intra-tracheal oxygen concentration and arterial oxygen partial pressure at three different oxygen flow rates given through either unilateral or bilateral nasal catheters.
Main results: FIO2 and PaO2 were significantly increased with higher total oxygen flow rates, but the increase was the same whether the higher flow was delivered through one nasal catheter or divided and administered though two nasal catheters. The use of bilateral nasal catheters allowed a tracheal FIO2 as high as 0.60 with minimal patient discomfort.
Conclusions: The benefit of bilateral nasal catheters for oxygen supplementation is the ability to provide high total oxygen flows with decreased risk of patient discomfort. If the desired oxygen flow can be achieved with a unilateral nasal catheter, then the only benefit of bilateral catheters is increased patient comfort. The use of bilateral nasal oxygen catheters for oxygen supplementation can result in an FIO2 that is high enough to produce oxygen toxicity with prolonged administration.