Oxygen Therapy

Cannulas, catheters, and a variety of masks are featured, along with oxygen therapy pioneers.

Pioneers in Oxygen Therapy
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier
Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794), a French chemist, is considered the father of modern chemistry. He developed a new system of chemical nomenclature and is responsible for naming oxygen (acid-former) and a number of other elements.
Image from Dennis Glover
Carl Wilhelm ScheeleCarl Wilhelm Scheele
Carl Wilhelm Scheele
Carl Wilhelm Scheele (1742-1786), a German-Swedish chemist, was the first to isolate "fire-air" (oxygen). Although his discovery was documented in letters to Antoine Lavoisier in 1774, his research was not submitted for publication until 1775.
Joseph Priestley
Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) was an English scientist and theologian who authored more than 150 publications. His text, The History and Present State of Electricity, published in 1767 was considered a standard for over a century. Priestley published six volumes of Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air in which he documented the discovery of several gases including what later would be known as nitrogen, ammonia, nitrous oxide, nitric oxide, and carbon monoxide. Priestley is credited with the discovery of soda water.His experiments with heated mercuric oxide resulted in his discovery of "deplogisticated air", later known as oxygen. It was discovered much later that Scheele's research was documented several months prior to Priestley's, thus the confusion over to whom the credit should be given for the discovery of oxygen.
Image from Dennis Glover
Thomas BeddoesThomas Beddoes
Thomas Beddoes
Thomas Beddoes (1760-1808) opened the Pneumatic Institute in Bristol, England. He used oxygen and nitrous oxide to treat asthma, pulmonary tuberculosis, congestive heart failure and other maladies.
Image from Dennis Glover
John HaldaneJohn Haldane
John Haldane
John Scott Haldane (1860-1936) was a Scottish physiologist and physician who researched respiratory physiology. He wrote the first paper on the rational use of oxygen and was the first to describe the effects of oxygen on the pulmonary system. Haldane was the first to describe the effect of carbon dioxide on respiratory drive. His research on carbon monoxide in coal mines led to safer working conditions for miners. Haldane was involved in early research on hyperbaric oxygen exposure. He is credited with developing a method for measuring oxygen content and designing the modern oxygen mask.
Alvan BarachAlvan Barach
Alvan Barach
Alvan Barach (1895-1977) was an American physician who laid the foundation for long term oxygen therapy in chronic pulmonary disease. He was involved with modification of early oxygen tents to include ice for cooling and soda-lime for carbon dioxide absorption. Dr. Barach developed the meter mask that allowed for adjustable oxygen concentrations. He developed a hood for delivery of continuous positive airway pressure. He also designed the first portable oxygen system for his patients with emphysema.

Click here to listen to an audio interview of Dr. Barach by Dr. Tom Petty, released by Breon Laboratories in 1979: “Perspectives In Pulmonary Medicine: Dr. Alvan Barach” : https://perf2ndwind.org//www/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Alvan_Barach.mp3
Glenn MillikanGlenn Millikan
Glenn Millikan
Glenn Allan Millikan (1906-1947) , an American physiologist, developed an ear probe that used two wave-lengths of light in an ear oxygen meter. The device was used to detect hypoxia in pilots during World War II. Millikan coined the term "oximeter".
Image from Trudy Watson
Albert H. Andrews, Jr.Albert H. Andrews, Jr.
Albert H. Andrews, Jr.
Albert. H. Andrews, Jr. (1907-1986), an American otolaryngologist from Chicago, Illinois, authored the Manual of Oxygen Therapy Techniques, published in 1943 by Year Book. He described the fundamentals for an oxygen therapy department, which served as the model for oxygen therapy and future inhalation therapy departments. Dr. Andrews was the only physician to serve as President of the Association.
Image from Debra Skees
Leland C. Clark, Jr.Leland C. Clark, Jr.
Leland C. Clark, Jr.
Leland C. Clark, Jr. (1918-2005), an American biochemist, is considered the "Father of Biosensors". His polarographic oxygen electrode (Clark electrode) was invented in 1954 and patented in 1959. Dr. Clark developed the glucose sensor used in diabetes management and a perflurocarbon based artificial blood. In 1951, he developed the first human heart-lung machine. Clark published more than 400 articles in biomedicine and bioengineering. He was credited with over 80 inventions and held over 25 patents.
Takuo AoyagiTakuo Aoyagi
Takuo Aoyagi
Takuo Aoyagi (1936- ), a Japanese physiologic bioengineer, invented the pulse oximeter in 1972.
Image from Yoshihiko (Bill) Kashiwazaki
Thomas Petty, MDThomas Petty, MD
Thomas Petty, MD
Thomas L. Petty (1932-2009), an American pulmonologist, was an international expert on pulmonary disease. He was instrumental in establishing home oxygen therapy and patient-friendly oxygen systems that enhanced the quality of life for oxygen-dependent patients. He published over 800 articles on pulmonary medicine and especially focused on the detection, management, and rehabilitation of COPD.
Dr. Petty
*conducted early research on ARDS.
*pioneered studies in ambulatory oxygen.
*advocated for spirometry programs for early detection of COPD.
*founded the Association of Pulmonary Program Directors (APD).
*served as founding Chairman of the National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP).
*founded a quarterly newsletter, Lung Cancer Frontiers.
*participated on numerous boards of professional associations and medical societies.
*served on on numerous editorial boards, including serving as Associate Editor of Respiratory Care.
*received numerous awards and honors throughout his career including being named an AARC Fellow (FAARC) in 1999, recipient of the Dr. Charles Hudson Award in 2004, and recipient of the AARC’s highest honor, the Jimmy A. Young Medal in 2003.
"Adventures of an Oxy-Phile 2""Adventures of an Oxy-Phile 2"
"Adventures of an Oxy-Phile 2"
Visit the AARC Website to download and listen to "Adventures of an Oxy-Phile 2", written by Thomas L. Petty, MD with Robert McCoy, BS, RRT, FAARC, Louise Nett, RN, RRT, FAARC, and Kay Bowen.Patrick Dunne, MEd, RRT, FAARC narrated the book.

To download the "Adventures of an Oxy-phile 2" audiobook:
* Go to www.aarc.org
* Select and click on Resources on the menu
* On the Resources page under the Publications heading, click on "Adventures of an Oxy-phile 2"
* Click on the download bar to initiate the download of the audiobook. It may take a few minutes to download to your device.
Oxygen Setups: Getting Started
Obtaining the CylindersObtaining the Cylinders
Obtaining the Cylinders
When an order was received for oxygen therapy prior to piped-in systems or when medical gas mixtures were ordered, a cylinder had to be obtained from a secure cylinder storage area. Most of the storage areas were located outdoors near a hospital loading dock and were exposed to dust and debris. Since the respiratory therapy personnel at our hospital wore white uniforms and lab coats, we quickly learned to also transport supplies to wipe down the external cylinder prior to cracking and loading the cylinder onto the transport carts. The combined weight of the cylinder and cart often outweighed the staff member trying to transport it back to a clinical area, making us wish the “oxygen orderlies” of previous decades were still available. A full H cylinder of oxygen weighed 114 pounds while a full K cylinder weighed 135 pounds.
Tracking Oxygen UseTracking Oxygen Use
Tracking Oxygen Use
Prior to the introduction of meters that measured time of oxygen usage, nursing and respiratory personnel had to manually record each time a patient’s oxygen was turned on and off on a tag that hung from the patient’s flowmeter. The hang tags were checked on each shift’s oxygen rounds and collected daily. The hours of usage were tabulated by the respiratory department’s staff and the appropriate charges submitted for oxygen used.
Oxygen HangtagOxygen Hangtag
Tracking Oxygen Use
Prior to the introduction of meters that measured time of oxygen usage, nursing and respiratory personnel had to manually record each time a patient’s oxygen was turned on and off on a tag that hung from the patient’s flowmeter. The hang tags were checked on each shift’s oxygen rounds and collected daily. The hours of usage were tabulated by the respiratory department’s staff and the appropriate charges submitted for oxygen used.
Schedule of Oxygen ChargesSchedule of Oxygen Charges
Schedule of Oxygen Charges
Image from Charles McKnight
Pre-1994 No Smoking-Oxygen in Use SignPre-1994 No Smoking-Oxygen in Use Sign
Pre-1994 No Smoking-Oxygen in Use Sign
Whenever oxygen was set-up in a patient’s room, a sign was displayed on the door to indicate that smoking was not permitted in the room. Prior to 1994 when the Joint Commission mandate became effective requiring that hospitals go smoke free, patients and visitors were allowed to smoke in hospital rooms.
Image from Trudy Watson
Oxygen CathetersOxygen Catheters
Oxygen Catheters
1920s Rubber Oxygen Catheter1920s Rubber Oxygen Catheter
1920s Rubber Oxygen Catheter
Urethral catheters were initially used to administer oxygen.
Image from Dennis Glover
1940s Nasal Catheter1940s Nasal Catheter
1940s Nasal Catheter
Image from Steve & Mary DeGenaro
1958 Nasal Catheter1958 Nasal Catheter
1958 Nasal Catheter
M.A. Tafilaw’s Patent for Nasal Catheter
1970s Nasal Catheter1970s Nasal Catheter
1970s Nasal Catheter
Image from Dennis Glover
Oxygen CannulasOxygen Cannulas
Oxygen Cannulas
1920s Metal Nasal Cannula1920s Metal Nasal Cannula
1920s Metal Nasal Cannula
Image from Dennis Glover
1930s Stainless Steel Nasal Cannula1930s Stainless Steel Nasal Cannula
1930s Stainless Steel Nasal Cannula
Image from Dennis Glover
Tudor Edwards' Spectacle FrameTudor Edwards' Spectacle Frame
Tudor Edwards' Spectacle Frame
The Tudor Edwards' Spectacle frame was manufactured in London in the 1930s. It was deemed an inefficient method of oxygen delivery due to the small size of the nasal tubes.
Image from Felix Khusid
Tudor Edwards' SpectaclesTudor Edwards' Spectacles
Tudor Edwards' Spectacles
The complete setup of Tudor Edwards' Spectacle frames, original oxygen tubing and flowmeter is shown.
Image from Felix Khusid
1956 Hudson's Nasal Cannula Patent1956 Hudson's Nasal Cannula Patent
1956 Hudson's Nasal Cannula Patent
1960 Sheridan's Nasal Cannula Patent1960 Sheridan's Nasal Cannula Patent
1960 Sheridan's Nasal Cannula Patent
1960s Nasal Cannula Ad1960s Nasal Cannula Ad
1960s Nasal Cannula Ad
Cannula-Glasses PatentCannula-Glasses Patent
Cannula-Glasses Patent
On December 13, 1985, a patent application was filed by inventors John and Gloria Timmons for "Eyeglass frame and nasal cannula assembly". The patent was granted on November 24, 1987.
Oxy-View GlassesOxy-View Glasses
Oxy-View Glasses
Oxy-View glasses incorporate prescription eyewear with a nasal cannula.
Image from John Goodman
Oxyview FramesOxyview Frames
Oxyview Frames
Image from John R. Goodman
1990s Nasal Cannula1990s Nasal Cannula
1990s Nasal Cannula
Illinois Central College Archives, 1999
1990s Pendant Reservoir Cannula
Illinois Central College Archives, 1999
1990s Mustache Reservoir Cannula1990s Mustache Reservoir Cannula
1990s Mustache Reservoir Cannula
Illinois Central College Archives, 1999
2000s High Flow Cannula2000s High Flow Cannula
2000s High Flow Cannula
2000s Pediatric High Flow Cannulas2000s Pediatric High Flow Cannulas
2000s Pediatric High Flow Cannulas
Bags & MasksBags & Masks
Bags & Masks
Haldane's Four Person MaskHaldane's Four Person Mask
Haldane's Four Person Mask
Image from Dennis Glover
1917 Haldane's Oxygen Mask1917 Haldane's Oxygen Mask
1917 Haldane's Oxygen Mask
Haldane's mask was developed to treat the soldiers in WWI who were exposed to toxic gases. Many developed pulmonary edema and serious lung injury from the chemical warfare agents.
Image from Dennis Glover
1939 Boothby-Lovelace-Bulbulian (BLB) Mask1939 Boothby-Lovelace-Bulbulian (BLB) Mask
1939 Boothby-Lovelace-Bulbulian (BLB) Mask
The B-L-B mask was designed to supply military aviators with supplemental oxygen while allowing them to be able to talk on their radio microphones and eat while wearing the device.
1940s B-L-B Mask1940s B-L-B Mask
1940s B-L-B Mask
The B-L-B (Boothy-Lovelace-Bulbulian) mask was designed for WWII aviators. This is an example of a face mask without the reservoir bag attached.
Image from Jim Ciolek
Early Aviation MasksEarly Aviation Masks
Early Aviation Masks
The face pieces of two early oxygen masks designed for aviators are shown.
Image from William LeTourneau
Non-rebreathing MaskNon-rebreathing Mask
Non-rebreathing Mask
This nonrebreathing mask from the 1940s is part of the vintage respiratory equipment collection of Felix Khusid.
Image from Felix Khusid
1957 NCG Mask1957 NCG Mask
1957 NCG Mask
Ohio Non-Rebreathing MaskOhio Non-Rebreathing Mask
Ohio Non-Rebreathing Mask
This ad for the "Ohio Model 100 Non-Rebreathing Type Mask" appeared in the June 1959 issue of the Inhalation Therapy journal. The non-rebreathing mask featured a diluter to vary the oxygen concentration, a pliable wire rim, easy adaptability to partial rebreathing, and a special aspiration button to allow removal of fluids.
Ohio Semi-Disposable MaskOhio Semi-Disposable Mask
Ohio Semi-Disposable Mask
1959 Procedure for Oxygen by Bag and Mask1959 Procedure for Oxygen by Bag and Mask
1959 Procedure for Oxygen by Bag and Mask
Image from Charles McKnight
1958 Hudson's Oxygen Mask Patent1958 Hudson's Oxygen Mask Patent
1958 Hudson's Oxygen Mask Patent
1960s Hudson Oxygen Mask1960s Hudson Oxygen Mask
1960s Hudson Oxygen Mask
Antoine-Laurent LavoisierAntoine-Laurent Lavoisier
SecO2 Therapy Mask
The SecO2 mask from Sierra Engineering was featured in this ad from the October 1965 issue of the INHALATION THERAPY journal.
Non-Rebreathing MaskNon-Rebreathing Mask
Non-Rebreathing Mask
Simple Masks
1959 Hudson ad1959 Hudson ad
1959 Hudson ad
This oxygen therapy equipment ad for Hudson products appeared in the September 1959 issue of the Inhalation Therapy journal (Vol. 4 No.3, p3)
1960s Simple Mask1960s Simple Mask
1960s Simple Mask
Mask with Chin Strap PatentMask with Chin Strap Patent
Mask with Chin Strap Patent
1990s Simple Mask1990s Simple Mask
1990s Simple Mask
Air Entrainment MasksAir Entrainment Masks
Air Entrainment Masks
1960s Mix-O-Mask1960s Mix-O-Mask
1960s Mix-O-Mask
1960s ad
1960s VentiMask1960s VentiMask
1960s VentiMask
1974 Air Entrainment Mask1974 Air Entrainment Mask
1974 Air Entrainment Mask
Ball and Fehr’s Patent for Medical Face Mask -1974
Mid-1970s Vickers Venturi MaskMid-1970s Vickers Venturi Mask
Mid-1970s Vickers Venturi Mask
Image from Dennis Glover
1990s Air Entrainment Masks1990s Air Entrainment Masks
1990s Air Entrainment Masks
Image from Illinois Central College Archives, 1999
1990s Air Entrainment Mask
Image from Illinois Central College Archives, 1999
Transtracheal Oxygen CathetersTranstracheal Oxygen Catheters
Transtracheal Oxygen Catheters
1992 SCOOP Transtracheal Oxygen Catheters1992 SCOOP Transtracheal Oxygen Catheters
1992 SCOOP Transtracheal Oxygen Catheters
The SCOOP (Spofford-Christopher-Oxygen-Optimizing-Program) was introduced in 1992. Oxygen is delivered via a 9 Fr indwelling catheter.
1990s Transtracheal Oxygen Catheter1990s Transtracheal Oxygen Catheter
1990s Transtracheal Oxygen Catheter
Image from Illinois Central College Archives, 1999
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