We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Venturi Mask?

By Jillian O Keeffe
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

When a doctor thinks that a patient with a medical condition needs to take in more oxygen, he or she may administer the extra oxygen through a Venturi mask. This is a plastic face mask that takes in air from the room but also mixes in pure oxygen from an oxygen storage canister. Each mask is only used once, but the doctor can adjust the concentration of oxygen for the patient. Commonly, this is a suitable treatment for those with longterm lung conditions.

A human body needs oxygen for normal functioning, and low concentrations of oxygen in the blood can be dangerous to health. Several different conditions can cause low oxygen levels, including problems with the lungs, as these organs normally take in oxygen efficiently from the air. A doctor typically assesses the patient for signs that he or she is not getting a healthy level of oxygen, and figures out how much extra oxygen the patient needs.

Venturi masks are made up of a soft plastic covering for the nose and mouth, with a tube attached to the front of the mask where the air and the oxygen are channeled up into the mask. The Venturi effect refers to a physical phenomenon where gas that goes into a narrow part of a tube is at low pressure, allowing higher pressure gas into the tube. In the case of the Venturi mask, the first gas is the oxygen and the second gas is the air from the room the patient is in.

Regular air contains 21% oxygen, which is a high enough concentration for healthy people. Sick people can receive much higher concentrations of oxygen, as it is the primary substance in the air that people need. The various settings that a doctor can apply to a Venturi mask range from 23% up to 40% oxygen. He or she can set these by placing specific adapters onto the mask tubing.

People who wear the mask may experience skin problems over time if the mask is too tight. The unnatural levels of oxygen can also make a patient breathe in shallow breaths or take in too little breaths, which can make the blood oxygen levels too low for safety. Another possibility, which is related to breathing problems, is that the person's lung may collapse. Although a Venturi mask is a common piece of equipment in hospital settings, it is not the only option for oxygen delivery via a mask, and different masks may be more suitable for individual patients than others.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By browncoat — On Jul 05, 2013

Being on oxygen therapy is a pain in the neck. Those masks always make me feel like I'm being suffocated, even when I need them in order to feel better. It's kind of a no-win situation.

Unfortunately there's no avoiding it when you've got certain conditions, so you've just got to get used to the closed in feeling and try to ignore it.

By croydon — On Jul 04, 2013

@Ana1234 - The problem is, now more than ever, hospitals need to be aware of infections, particularly of those so-called super-bugs. From what I've read, in order to sterilize surgical equipment, they will put them into a special heating unit that will reach enormous temperatures to kill off anything that might be on there, without relying on antiseptics.

Venturi masks aren't made of strong enough stuff to withstand the kind of heat needed to really kill off all the bugs and become hospital-grade sterilized. And even if they were, I suspect the process of sterilization would be more expensive than just making a new mask.

I think in an ideal world, what they should do is recycle the old masks by melting them down and making something new. I'm almost positive most hospitals don't do this, however.

By Ana1234 — On Jul 04, 2013

I guess you learn something new every day. I've been in hospitals a great deal in the last few years, because my mother has been sick and so I've seen these masks a lot, but it never even occurred to me that they have a special name.

I also didn't realize that they only get used once and then are thrown away. I guess I understand that they could spread infections between people, but it seems like an awful waste to do that.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.