Internet Journal of Medical Update - EJOURNAL

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Is Hypoxia common despite oxygen treatment in the Acute Medical ward?

R Dhar, R N Harrison, P D Shashall


The delivery of oxygen in an acute Admissions Unit is
always (often) riddled with difficulties. While most patients do get
oxygen at some point of time it is often uncontrolled and inappropriate.
This reflects inadequate and untrained staffing in the very busy Medical
Units. We did a small study on 30 random acute admissions in a
District General Hospital and recorded the appropriateness of oxygen
delivery over an 8hour period. In more than 80% cases patients had
saturations of <85% for at least 1 hour and oxygen was almost never
prescribed on the drug chart. Documented hypoxia to this degree can
cause significant cardiac and cerebral malfunction.

Keywords: Hypoxia, Oxygen, Acute Medical Units.

Internet Journal of Medical Update Vol. 1 (2) 2006: pp. 1-5
AJOL African Journals Online