Chapter 5: Oxygen Therapy

5.4 Signs and Symptoms of Hypoxia

Critical Thinking Exercises: Questions, Answers, and Sources / References

  1. Your patient is tachypneic and dyspneic. What is the first step you should take to ensure maximal lung expansion?

Answer: raise the head of bed.

  1. Your patient is sitting up in high fowler’s position, but is still showing signs of hypoxia. What should be your next steps?

Answer: take vital signs including SpO2. Administer oxygen if indicated and within the nurse’s scope and policies of the agency


Sources: British Columbia College of Nursing Professionals (BCCNP). (2019). RN scope of practice – inhalation

British Thoracic Society Emergency Oxygen Guideline Development Group. (2017). BTS guideline for oxygen use in adults in health care and emergency settings. Thorax, 72(1), i1-i90.



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