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Nasal cannulas behind the head

Does anyone actually run the NC behind the head, instead of under the chin?

I've been watching Chicago's Finest. Multiple questionable scenes including this. 

Is the nasal cannula ever used this way?

StrwbryblndRN specializes in CMSRN.

No, not from my experience.  Not intentionally at least.  

DextersDisciple has 7 years experience as a BSN, RN.

Yes but only for procedural purposes . O2 source behind head of Flat table so the NC is behind the head to connect to O2. Also if Dr is getting IJ access the Neck is prepped into the sterile field so NC tubing cannot be in that area. 

NRSKarenRN specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

I've had a few homecare patients do that, especially if chin/back of ears sore. Hard to keep on and almost impossible to sleep with tubing that position.

ICUman specializes in Cardiac Cath Lab.

Yes, as Dexters pointed out, we do this everyday in Cath Lab and IR. It's quite common in the procedural areas. 

canoehead specializes in ER.

We were told especially not on babies and toddlers because of the hanging/choking risk. But not on adults either.

13 minutes ago, canoehead said:

We were told especially not on babies and toddlers because of the hanging/choking risk. But not on adults either.

Babies ears are so pliable it’s almost impossible to keep the cannula behind them. I would think the risk of hanging would be fairly low given that kids with O2 requirements are rarely left alone. 
 

I just googled images of babies on oxygen to make sure I hadn’t lost my mind and literally every single one of them had the cannula behind their heads. 

Edited by Wuzzie

JadedCPN specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

20 minutes ago, Wuzzie said:

Babies ears are so pliable it’s almost impossible to keep the cannula behind them. I would think the risk of hanging would be fairly low given that kids with O2 requirements are rarely left alone. 
 

I just googled images of babies on oxygen to make sure I hadn’t lost my mind and literally every single one of them had the cannula behind their heads. 

You didn't lose your mind. Babies and toddlers for sure get behind the head. But also they're often secured to the face/cheeks with tape and/or a securement device.

crazin01 specializes in tele, ICU, CVICU.

In Bates Motel, Emma (had CF) wore her O2 this way all the time, pre-transplant.  (sorry, I know it's TV, but sorta fits) 😄 

7 minutes ago, JadedCPN said:

You didn't lose your mind. Babies and toddlers for sure get behind the head. But also they're often secured to the face/cheeks with tape and/or a securement device.

Thank you for confirming my sanity. 🤣 We always secured them with Tegaderm or Duoderm and tape. 
 

We did trial those head strap kind of nasal cannulas. They were weird. 

Edited by Wuzzie

Daisy4RN specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg.

I have seen many patients do this for different reasons, mainly bc of the irritation it causes to the ears. 

amoLucia specializes in LTC.

Just FYI - there's a Youtube clip that shows how to wear face masks so the ear straps don't irritate ears. And some approaches make for a BETTER fit. Or provide for better wearer aeration.

Interesting, to say the least.

I work with developmentally delayed adults. Some individuals just can't resist any type of tubing and although we have orders for mitts, they're not secure enough to deter our more determined residents (makes catheters and G-tubes quite an adventure). We never put the tubing for O2 behind their ears. To prevent strangulation, I put the tubing so the connecting part is toward the top of their head instead of behind it, and secure the sliding part where it connects with tape so it can't fit down over their heads. 

nrsang97 specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg.

Craniotomy patients.  Sometimes the ears are covered and we do that.  

LibraNurse27 specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown.

I see some patients do this. One patient was bothered by her NG tube hanging down so she flipped it up and taped it to her forehead 😂 it was sticking straight up. Wouldn't work for suction but we were able to give meds through it... only option since she refused to untape it... would have taken a pic if not for HIPAA

Kitiger specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics.

On 5/1/2020 at 6:15 AM, Wuzzie said:

On babies and toddlers all the time.

And we run the tubing down their back, inside their clothing. Out of sight, out of mind.

And, yes, these kids always have someone with them.

I rarely deal with oxygen in my job, so anytime I have to call an ambulance and the provider says “Give him some O2 while we wait,” I get all confused and can’t figure out the cannula. I always run it behind their head and the EMTs always show up and immediately flip it around. It’s embarrassing... X-D

I did that on my very first day in clinicals because that’s how I had always seen it on TV and they didn’t teach us to do it the other way in school. I still cringe thinking about it and that was about 10-11 years ago. I can laugh about it now thought at least!

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