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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 13, Issue 5, Pages 247-252
Original Article

Comparison of the OxyMask and Venturi Mask in the Delivery of Supplemental Oxygen: Pilot Study in Oxygen-Dependent Patients

Jaime M Beecroft and Patrick J Hanly

St Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario; Health Sciences Centre, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: The OxyMask (Southmedic Inc, Canada) is a new face mask for oxygen delivery that uses a small ‘diffuser’ to concentrate and direct oxygen toward the mouth and nose. The authors hypothesized that this unique design would enable the OxyMask to deliver oxygen more efficiently than a Venturi mask (Hudson RCI, USA) in patients with chronic hypoxemia.

METHODS: Oxygen-dependent patients with chronic, stable respiratory disease were recruited to compare the OxyMask and Venturi mask in a randomized, single-blind, cross-over design. Baseline blood oxygen saturation (SaO2) was established breathing room air, followed in a random order by supplemental oxygen through the OxyMask or Venturi mask. Oxygen delivery was titrated to maintain SaO2 4% to 5% and 8% to 9% above baseline for two separate 30 min periods of stable breathing. Oxygen flow rate, partial pressure of inspired and expired oxygen (PO2) and carbon dioxide (PCO2), minute ventilation, heart rate, nasal and oral breathing, SaO2 and transcutaneous PCO2 were collected continuously. The study was repeated following alterations to the OxyMask design, which improved clearance of carbon dioxide.

RESULTS: Thirteen patients, aged 28 to 79 years, were studied initially using the original OxyMask. Oxygen flow rate was lower, inspired PO2 was higher and expired PO2 was lower while using the OxyMask. Minute ventilation and inspired and expired PCO2 were significantly higher while using the OxyMask, whereas transcutaneous PCO2, heart rate and the ratio of nasal to oral breathing did not change significantly throughout the study. Following modification of the OxyMask, 13 additional patients, aged 18 to 79 years, were studied using the same protocol. The modified OxyMask provided a higher inspired PO2 at a lower flow rate, without evidence of carbon dioxide retention.

CONCLUSIONS: Oxygen is delivered safely and more efficiently by the OxyMask than by the Venturi mask in stable oxygen-dependent patients.