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Accuracy of Medical Oxygen Flowmeters: A Multicentric Field Study
The accuracy of 476 oxygen flowmeters was investigated using a thermal mass flowmeter in eight hospitals in France and Belgium. Different oxygen flow rates (2 to 15 l/min) were evaluated at the patient’s bed. When the sample was considered as a whole, the accuracy of delivered flow was acceptable but precision was poor. The variability of the delivered flow between devices was greater when a low flow rate was required. Compensated-pressure oxygen flowmeters for these low rates were more accurate than their non-compensated counterparts. This study emphasizes the need to individually adapt the oxygen flow rate each time a patient has to move from one flowmeter to another.