(Parahoo, 1997) EBP is also a key factor in the NMC (2008) Code of Professional Conduct, which states that nursing professionals are personally accountable for their quality of care giving, and must provide the highest quality of service to patients that is consistent with evidence-based research. In 2005, NICE was combined with the Health Development Agency as an independent organization to deliver quality healthcare based on professional standards of medical practice in a standardized manner across public healthcare institutions and in order to assist with government programs intended to improve the quality of service in the industry. Nurses are increasingly expected to base their practice on empirical medical research data represented in scientific literature or established medical treatment practices that are generated through research publications (Burns & Grove 1999).
The purpose of this report is to apply the principles of Evidence Based Practice (EBP) to the use of supplemental oxygen (O2) in hospitals as a treatment response for myocardial infarction (MI). The rationale for this search is that supplemental oxygen is used in hospitals and clinics traditionally in ways that is inconsistent with latest medical research and this has led to a recent change in practice in healthcare institutions as well as in public policy that still may not be represented in everyday nursing practice. By applying EBP principles, a nurse can review the medical literature and research regarding the use of oxygen in MIs by focusing on the most recent clinical trials. By understanding the use and contra-indications of supplemental O2 in MIs as accepted in published literature, nurses on coronary care units (CCU) can be more prepared for work in the workplace. In order to effectively search the topic of oxygen use in clinical applications related to heart treatment, it was important to clearly define the research by using the PICO framework (Patients, Interventions, Comparisons and Outcomes) to develop the areas of inquiry. The search criteria focused on were based initially the keywords: “Myocardial, Infarction, Hyperoxic, Coronary, and Oxygen”. Published papers were identified through a search of online databases via the University of Plymouth intranet site including; CINAHL, MEDLINE, SwetsWise, Taylor & Francis, Oxford Journals & ScienceDirect. In the search, very few original research studies published between 2001 to 2011 were found, it was required to revise the search to include a more specialized use of keywords, all relating to “oxygen and myocardial function”. Five research papers were then selected as representative of consensus in medical research through peer review and implementation in cardiac treatment programs. CRITICAL REVIEW OF LITERATURE Previously oxygen was given as a standard aspect of MI treatment, regardless of the patient’s level of oxygen saturation level, as part of the standard response of health practitioners to a critical care emergency such as a heart attack. Although NICE (2010) have amended their guidelines to recommend that patients only be given oxygen if their blood saturation level is below 94% , many nurses on general wards are still giving oxygen to critical heart attack patients as a regular aspect of treatment, as they are unaware of its detrimental effects in counter-indications or the latest research on the topic. Since many hospitals are