Oxygen flowrate

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Posted by Bernadette ( on August 11, 2001 at 18:01:14:

I hope someone out there can help me.

My sister suffers from cluster headaches and is in the
middle of a very bad episode just now. She read
(probably in this site) that some people get relief
from breading pure oxygen at high flow rates.
The articles she showed me said: "100% oxygen at
flowrates in excess of 7 l/min."

She got her doctor to prescribe oxygen but then had to
get someone who would supply her with the
cylinder and regulator (not an easy task) - no one was
familioar with oxygen for cluster headaches and everyone
said that the flow rate prescribed the doctor (8 l/min)
was far too high.

Eventually she got someone to supply her but he said
that, while the cylinder is always 100% oxygen, what
the persone actually breathes is never that high - the
oxygen is always allowed to mix with air through a
venturi tube that fits between the regulator and the
mask - different venturis allow different % oxygen
to reach the mask. The highest % that he could supply
(or ever heard of being used) was 40%. He felt she
should use a venturi for 28% and should
set the flowrate at 6 l/min. My sister is totally
confused and is unwilling to try the oxygen until
she knows what is right.

Can somebody tell me:

Should she actually be breading 100% oxygen?

If yes - how do you get 100% oxygen? - do people just
pipe straight from the reg. to the mask?
Is this safe?

If no - what % should she be using and at
what flowrate?

Are there any things she should know about the safety
of using oxygen?

We would be so relieved to hear as soon as poss
from someone who is getting relief from oxygen


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