Background: Asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) attacks are frequently seen in emergency departments. While giving oxygen to these patient groups we generally use standard masks. We compared the standard mask with diffuser mask which was an open-style oxygen mask in reducing carbon dioxide levels and increasing the PEF (peak expiratory flow) values.
Methods: In our study, 52 patients used diffuser mask and 51 used standard masks. Salbutamol +ipratropium bromide treatment was applied with either diffuser or standard mask. Reducing the EtCO2 and increasing the PEF values were the target point for effectiveness of the treatment.
Results: 67 (65.0%) of the patients were COPD; 36 (35.0%) were asthma. The initial pCO2 values were correlated strongly with EtCO2 values (p<0.001, r=0.875). There was a moderate negative correlation between initial arterial gas pCO2 value and PEF values (p=0.002, r=-0.300). At admission, the initial pCO2, EtCO2 and PEF values were similar between the diffuser mask and standard mask group. If we think about COPD and asthma patients together, at the second and four hours, EtCO2 values were significantly lower in diffuser mask group (p=0.013 and p=0.004 respectively). In COPD group; at the second and fourth hours, EtCO2 values of both masks were similar. In asthma group; EtCO2 values in the second and fourth hours was lower in diffuser mask group. PEF values were higher in the second and fourth hours for both of the masks for all patients.
Conclusion: We argued that especially in asthma attacks, diffuser mask is better in reducing carbon dioxide; additionally it provides good PEF values for COPD and asthma attacks.