Oxygen therapy practices in the acutely ill medical patients: A social media-based nationwide study of clinicians’ preferences and summary of current recommendations

  • George Karlis | georgekarlis@yahoo.com Intensive Care Unit, General Hospital of Rhodes “Andreas Papandreou”, Greece.
  • Dimitrios Barouxis Cardiology Department, Laiko General Hospital, Athens, Greece.
  • Georgios Georgiopoulos Department of Clinical Therapeutics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.
  • Panagiota Mitropoulou Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, United Kingdom, United Kingdom.
  • Zafeiria Mastora 1st Department of Intensive Care Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.
  • Theodoros Xanthos European University Cyprus, School of Medicine, Nicosia, Cyprus.


Oxygen is the most commonly used drug in emergency medicine. The aim of this study was to identify healthcare professionals’ preferences regarding oxygen therapy in common medical emergencies. An online 9-part-questionnaire was distributed through Facebook to doctors and nurses working in Greek hospitals. The questionnaire included background information of the respondents and addressed individual preferences regarding best oxygenation parameter and oxygen targets in specific acute settings. We received 678 responses and we included 663 in our analysis. We found significant differences between doctors’ and nurses’ attitudes towards oxygenation targets in ARDS, sepsis, acute coronary syndrome, and post cardiac-arrest patients. Nurses preferred a more conservative oxygen strategy compared to doctors. Furthermore, nurses favor SaO2 as the best oxygenation parameter, while doctors prefer PaO2. In our survey, the type of hospital and department of the respondents did not affect the preferred oxygen strategy. Social media-based survey research is feasible and effective. In this single country study, doctors showed a tendency to liberally administer oxygen in acutely ill medical patients. On the other hand, Greek nurses preferred a more conservative approach.



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Original Articles
Oxygen therapy, Emergency medicine, Survey
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How to Cite
Karlis, G., Barouxis, D., Georgiopoulos, G., Mitropoulou, P., Mastora, Z., & Xanthos, T. (2020). Oxygen therapy practices in the acutely ill medical patients: A social media-based nationwide study of clinicians’ preferences and summary of current recommendations. Emergency Care Journal, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/ecj.2020.8867