A nurse is educating a patient with emphysema that requires oxygen use at home via nasal cannula. The nurse should instruct the patient not to exceed what flow rate?


•With emphysema, respiratory drive is triggered by low oxygen levels because of long-standing hypercapnia.

•Increasing the oxygen flow rate past 2 LPM may diminish the patient's respiratory drive.

For reference:

•Nasal cannula: 1-6 LPM. At 4 LPM, approx 32% O2 is provided.

•Simple face mask: 6-10 LPM at 40-60% O2, but must be over 5 LPM to flush expired CO2 from mask.

•Venturi "Venti" mask: 4-8 LPM at 24-40% O2 at low flow or 10-12 LPM at 50% O2 at high flow.

•Nonrebreathing mask (NRB): 6-12 LPM. Provides 95% O2 with flow rate of 10-12 LPM.

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