Intended for healthcare professionals


Fear of hypercapnia is leading to inadequate oxygen treatment

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 27 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:872
  1. G G Lavery, Intensive care consultant (
  1. Regional Intensive Care Unit, Royal Hospitals Trust, Belfast

    EDITOR—Patients with proved hypoxaemia who are receiving a fractional inspired oxygen concentration of only 24-35% can be found in wards throughout the United Kingdom. Even this is overstating the case since masks often do not deliver the set oxygen concentration, 1 2 and an ill fitting facemask with a resultant increase in entrained room air will further reduce the inspired oxygen concentration.3 I was therefore delighted by Bateman and Leach's statement that “Inadequate oxygen accounts for more deaths …

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