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In this article, we are going to discuss the procedure for using and setting up an oxygen hood on a neonatal patient.

Are you ready to learn how to set up an oxygen hood? Well, you’re in luck because I am going to share with you how to do so step by step. As a Respiratory Therapy student, this is something that is required for you to know how to do during your lab check-offs. That is why it is important to learn the steps now so that you will know them whenever need be. 

What is an oxygen hood?

Basically, an oxygen hood is a clear plastic compartment (that resembles a hood) that fits around the neonate’s head and provides warm and humidified oxygen to the infant. This allows the neonate to receive a desired FiO2 in order to maintin the appropriate oxygen saturation. The oxygen hood only surrounds the head and neck of the infant and leaves the remainder of the body available for care.

In order to be used properly, it’s important to ensure that the proper procedure is followed while setting up the oxygen hood.

How to set up an oxygen hood:

1. Review and evaluate the patient’s medical record

This is usually the first step for any procedure you will do as a Respiratory Therapist. You always want to check the patient’s chart and confirm the doctor’s order first and foremost. Also, while reviewing the chart, be sure to take note of any relevant data such as diagnoses, medications, radiographs, and lab results, etc. 

2. Gather all needed equipment

This includes the following:

  • The appropriate size oxygen hood
  • Oxygen tubing
  • Oxygen blender and/or flowmeters (with nipples)
  • The humidifier/heater
  • Sterile water
  • Corrugated tubing
  • The oxygen hood thermometer
  • Oxygen analyzer
  • Pulse oximeter or saturation monitor

3. Prepare the patient

Enter the patient’s room and immediately wash your hands and put on the appropriate gloves and/or PPE. Position the infants properly so that the hood can fit around their head and neck area.

This is where you will need to explain the procedure to the parents of the infant. 

4. Assemble the oxygen hood

  • First, you will need to calibrate the oxygen analyzer before assembling the hood. After verifying that the calibration is working properly, be sure to that the head of the analyzer is positioned at the neonates face.
  • Ensure that there is an emergency oxygen device close by. 
  • Assemble the humidifier and fill the chamber with sterile water.
  • Connect the oxygen blender tubing to the water-filled chamber, and also, connect the heater tubing to the water-filled chamber as well. 
  • Place the thermometer inside of the oxygen hood in its proper position. Be sure that the heater temperature is set between 32-37 degrees Celcius. 
  • Now you will need to set up the oxygen hood and blend the air and oxygen to the proper concentration to deliver the desired FiO2. Be sure to deliver a minimum flow rate of 8-10 L/min in order to prevent the buildup of harmful levels of carbon dioxide within the oxygen hood. 
  • Connect the heater tubing to the oxygen hood.
  • Carefully place the oxygen hood over the infant’s head so that it loosely seals around their neck.
  • Analyze the FiO2 at the infant’s mouth. 
  • Be sure that the delivered gases are directed away from the infant’s face. 
  • Adjust the heater temperature whenever necessary to ensure that neutral theraml enviroment is maintained. 

5. Continue to monitor and asses the infant

After the oxygen hood has been placed around the infant’s head, you will need to continue monitoring and assessing the patient. You can assess the following:

  • FiO2
  • Oxygen saturation
  • Heart rate
  • Respiratory rate
  • Temperature inside the oxygen hood
  • Sterile water level in the chamber
  • Humidification levels
  • Keep an eye on the infant’s neck area for irritation and skin breakdown
  • Observe that the oxygen hood stays in the correct position
  • Drain water from the corrugated tubing, if necessary
  • Monitor the infant’s body temperature
  • Be aware of any complications. These include:  hypoxemia, hyperoxemia, hyperthermia, hypothermia, and skin breakdown near the neck. 

6. Documentation

As a medical professional, charting and documentation is crucial. I’m sure you’re already aware of this, but I have to include it here. You want to make sure that you document the whole process of setting up an oxygen hood.

This includes any changes in oxygen concentration, as well as the patient’s vital signs throughout the entire process. Remember, in the medical field, if it doesn’t get documented, then it never happened.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it. You now know the proper procedure on how to set up and oxygen hood. So if you’re a student, if you are required to do this in your clinical rotations, you can follow these steps and get it set up easy peasy. And if you’re already a Respiratory Therapist, then you can use this guide as a reminder for the steps to follow to set up an oxygen hood. Breathe easy!