Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Fixed performance oxygen masks: an evaluation.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 28 April 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:1261
  1. S L Hill,
  2. P K Barnes,
  3. T Hollway,
  4. R Tennant


    Fixed performance oxygen masks operate by supplying mixtures of oxygen and air at rates exceeding the inspiratory flow rate of the patient. In this study the oxygen concentration delivered by three fixed performance oxygen masks was determined non-invasively at various inspiratory flow rates. At low inspiratory flow rates all the masks studied acted as fixed performance devices. When the peak inspiratory rate increased the performance of all the masks showed some variability. The change from fixed to variable performance depended on the relation between inspiratory flow rate and the total gas flow delivered by the mask and was independent of the volume of the mask. Hence the use of low volume masks and high oxygen flow rates should produce more consistent results than high volume masks and lower flow rates.