Low Flow Oxygen / Air (or combination)
Compiled and Reviewed by Nicola
Svirskis - NE
Low Flow Oxygen/Air administration is used for infants requiring some
respiratory support but not CPAP
300 ml/min - 1000 ml/min require humidifying
below 300 ml/min are not humidified
once the flow has been reduced to <200ml/min use a "low low flow
flow can be weaned to 50ml/min, but no less than 50ml/min
When utilising humidified flows watch for rainout in the circuit and try
to ensure that it is cleared back into the humidifier regularly to avoid
lavage (see humidified
high flow for set up information)
Low flow oxygen is measured in ml/min not litres
read from the centre of the
careful note of ml/min being delivered. There
are different flow meters in use. Check
ml/min with another staff member.
When an infant is stable on Low Flow respiratory support it may be moved
into a cot and attempts at feeding can be instituted.
Any increase in O2 during feeds
should be documented.
Choose appropriate prong size (small
or medium). Prongs should fit
snugly and be taped to face appropriately using thin Duoderm as a base and
Hyperfix to tape.
Check that nasal prongs are clear,
frequently; changing once a week or more frequently if required.
Low flow can be separated into 3 categories:
Combination Air and Oxygen
of Low Flow Oxygen and Low Flow Air
This may be used on consultant's orders to support a baby when CPAP is discontinued
but the infant continues to have a minimal oxygen requirement.
If this mode of respiratory support is utilised for infants <36weeks
gestation an oxygen analyser must be present in the circuitry (i.e. will
need to have a flow of >300ml/min running via the humidifier).
The combination may be:
via the blender at higher humidified low flows (1000 ml/min -
300 ml/min) or
with a mix of flows from low flow regulators
a Y connector to join the low flow O2 and low flow air.
a low flow air meter to deliver 250ml of air.
Use low flow oxygen meter to deliver a maximum
of 125ml to maintain an appropriate SaO2 as per