Therapeutic Use of Oxygen by Australian Lifesavers

TitleTherapeutic Use of Oxygen by Australian Lifesavers
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsMackie, I
Conference NameInternational Medical-Rescue Conference
Date Published09/1997
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationSan Diego, California, USA
Call Number20
Other Numbers151

Because drowning and near drowning are hypoxic episodes, the use of oxygen early in the near drowning process was considered a priority at much the same time as Expired Air Resuscitation was introduced into community teaching in 1960.

Traditionally manuals of instruction for life saving organisations within Australia were updated every five years but the rapid acceleration of research in the areas of resuscitation and oxygen use in the late 50's and early 60's required much more frequent revision.

CPR was described in detail in 1961 and oxygen enrichment with the Ambu bag was first described for lifesavers in 1961. The 1964 manual showed photographs of the use of an air bag and oxygen but detailed descriptions were lacking. The 1969 manual took this further but a detailed program of instruction in the use of oxygen did not eventuate until 1973 when the National Medical Panel recommended the use of a single device to be used on a national basis. This was a manually held, trigger operated, pressure device which delivered 60 litres of oxygen per minute for adults and 30 litres per minute for children. In addition the same machine known as an Oxy Viva provided therapy at a fixed flow of 8 litres per minute and suction by a Venturi system. The Oxy Viva box was specified to contain 2 oxygen therapy masks and 2 anaesthetic masks.