Venturi Masks – All You Need To Know

Oxygen administration is a very crucial and important procedure in a hospital, especially in ER and ICUs where patients need help breathing.

The majority of the patients admitted to the hospital require regular 3 to 6 hours of check-ups of their oxygen levels in their body.

You may have seen in movies or tv shows that the patients in critical condition, coma, bed rest, or patients that are rushed in through the emergency wear a certain type of mask.

It is easily recognized by everyone but out of curiosity, you may not know what is it called and what is it used for.

Well, for starters, allow me to tell you what is it called.

It is known as the “Venturi Mask”.

Yes, you heard it right, Venturi mask.

Now you are probably thinking more about it and wondering what is it exactly.

I am here to answer all your questions!

So let’s get to know the Venturi Mask together!

Currently, with the whole pandemic situation going on, a certain percentage of people are now aware of a bunch of different types of masks like a surgical masks, KN90, and KN95.

However, these masks do not perform the task of delivering oxygen.

There is a wide range of oxygen delivery devices available which range from simple to complex and inexpensive to costly devices.

The choice of which oxygen delivery device depends on the patient’s oxygen requirement, the efficiency of the device, reliability, ease of therapeutic application, and most importantly; patient acceptance.

Venturi mask is one of the oxygen delivering devices that are widely used.

Now we go into a little more detail to know this mask a little better!

Detailed Info on Venturi Mask:

Venturi Mask Working

The Venturi Mask is also known as the air-entrainment mask.

Invented by a British  physician Earl James Moran Campbell of McMaster University Medical School, this mask is a medical device that delivers a fixed concentration of oxygen to the patient that is receiving it, over a course of time recommended as per the doctor.

Since then, this mask has evolved and become more complex but it provided maximum patient benefit.

Venturi masks that are available today are successfully delivering an FiO2 of 24, 28, 31, 35, 40, or 60% to the patients

The design of the valve ensures that a specific proportion of oxygen and air are mixed and delivered to the patient.

This medical mask device is often used on patients that require controlled oxygen therapy.

So there you have it in simple and easy to understand words.

But now, lets get into a little more depth about the mask.

Mechanism of the Venturi Mask


Now the next step is how does the venturi mask work?

In simple and easy to process words, the venturi masks are a high flow oxygen delivery devices.

This is because they are capable of providing the total inspire flow at a specific Fio2.

Some of the devices have a rotating attachment that controls the air entertain window which affects the concentration of the oxygen required.

This system provides humidification and oxygen therapy.

The main principle of the venturi mask is the Bernoulli principle and the Newton’s law of conservation of energy.

This entrains the room air when pure oxygen is delivered through a small orifice, which results in a large flow at predictable Fio2 (fraction of inspired oxygen)

Maintenance of fixed concentration

So how is this oxygen device successful in maintaining a fixed concentration?

The Venturi consists of a narrowed aperture with side holes and relies on the Bernoulli effect. As gas passes through the constriction at a set rate its velocity increases.

According to Newton’s law of the conservation of energy, as the velocity of the gas (or its kinetic energy) increases, its pressure (or potential energy) must fall.

The area of low pressure causes gas to be entrained at a known rate (dependent on the size of the constriction, side holes, and driving gas flow) and at a far higher flow rate than the patient’s maximal inspiratory flow rate.

Therefore, the concentration of oxygen delivered is independent of patient effort.

Types of Venturi Mask

Types of Venturi Mask

The different types of venturi masks are based a variation of venturi mask colors.

Each variation of color determines a different flow rate.

And each flow rate is coded with a color along with the percentage of oxygen it delivers.

Less than 35% is considered to be low oxygen delivery, 35%-60% is moderate and more than 60% is considered to be high oxygen delivery.

You have to be careful because oxygen is considered to be toxic if the delivery percentage exceeds 60%.

The list is as follows:

Blue = 2-4L/min = 24% O2

White = 4-6L/min = 28% O2

Yellow = 8-10L/min = 35% O2

Red = 10-12L/min = 40% O2

Green = 12-15L/min = 60% O2

Uses of the Venturi Masks


Venturi mask is widely used in Oxygen therapies around the world.

Oxygen therapy aims to reverse hypoxia, carbon monoxide toxicity, cluster headaches and when the patient is been given inhaled anesthetics.

Venturi mask is specifically used in respiratory distress situations, like the management of oxygen in patients with acute hypoxemia.

They are also used in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), where is it very important to not over oxygenate the patient.

This mask is important for patients that are at risk of hypercapnic respiratory failure and where it is necessary to accurately assess ventilation and gas exchange.

Benefits of the Venturi Mask


As of yet, all the studies and researched show that venturi masks do not have any negative affects on the patients

Patient-friendly device

It is a patient friendly device.

The nose clip is adjustable and the under-chin design increases the comfort and acceptance of these masks.

This makes the mask as perfect fit and an excellent sealer which ensures the patient comfortability.

Transparent mask

It is also a transparent mask.

This may seem to be an odd benefit but it is actually a very necessary feature.

The transparency of the mask makes it possible to monitor facial color and vital functions.


Lastly, this mask causes no allergy and is an allergy free mask because both; the mask and the strap are latex-free, thus preventing  any allergic reactions.

In conclusion, venturi mask is an essential high flow oxygen delivering mask in hospitals for patients with respiratory distress.