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A Comparison of Open Oxygen Masks

In today’s busy healthcare market, open oxygen delivery masks are gaining popularity for several reasons. Primarily, they enhance patient safety by reducing the risk of CO2 rebreathing. Their open design contributes to increased patient comfort, offering a cooler and less claustrophobic experience.

Additionally, these masks allow patients to communicate and hydrate without interrupting oxygen therapy, and even enable the administration of oral medication seamlessly during use. These masks also have appeal in their ease of use for titrating oxygen across many health care professional (HCP) disciplines. HCPs testify to time-savings and increased efficiencies in their workday by using open oxygen masks.1

Further efficiencies of open style masks can be seen in the reduction of bulk oxygen used by a facility vs. traditional masks2, and in the reduction of plastic waste thrown out by hospitals, currently at a rate of 3kg/day/hospital bed according to the WHO.3

Most open masks on the market today boast wide ranges of FiO2 capability, which would allow for the replacement of numerous traditional style oxygen masks used in oxygen delivery for decades. These traditional masks, such as Venturi style masks, partial and non-rebreather style masks, and even simple oxygen masks often have limited FiO2 capability, are error-prone, possibly complex to set up, and are not the most comfortable device available to a patient today, and if not utilized properly, may be detrimental to patient safety.  

Innovation in oxygen delivery has been long overdue, and there’s emerging players in the healthcare market vying for attention. The thing you as an HCP need to ask is: “are all open masks created equal?”  Does each of them perform the way they claim and make good on all the benefits they tout, especially when it comes to the available ceiling of delivered high FiO2?

A recent independent study examined this idea with two open style oxygen masks to determine what the truth in performance really is, and you’re invited to see for yourself by downloading a study summary of those results here.

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1. Leveraging Technology to maximize efficiencies in today’s challenging respiratory care environment; 2019; Hoerr, C.; Phelps County Regional Medical Center, Rolla Missouri

2. “Evaluation of Safety and Cost of an Open-Design Oxygen Mask in a Large Community Hospital” DeJulio et al.; Respiratory Care, Vol 63 #4; April 2018

3. “Why hospitals are beginning to reuse or recycle oxygen masks, IV bags, surgical tools they used to throw out” CBC News; A. Hopton, T. Reid; March 2021

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