In an emergency situation when a physician’s order cannot be immediately obtained, oxygen administration may be started without a physician’s order by a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse (if delegated to do so by a Registered Nurse) in the presence of:
- acute chest pain
- unstable angina
- Increased work of breathing noted in client (i.e. excessive use of accessory muscles of respiration, wheezes, stridor, tracheal tug, perioral cyanosis etc.)
- When a client requires oxygen delivery in an emergency situation, his/her oxygen saturation levels and vital signs should be monitored and documented at least every 5-10 minutes.
- A physician is to be contacted as soon as possible after initiation of oxygen therapy in these instances, for consultation and/or further orders.