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Why prescribe short-burst oxygen?

Abstract

In previous reviews of domiciliary oxygen therapy, we have commented on the lack of evidence to justify use of short-burst oxygen therapy, which is expensive and can be difficult to withdraw from patients once they are established on it.1, 2 For these reasons, we concluded that short-burst oxygen therapy should not be started without objective evidence of benefit for the individual patient, and its use should be under the supervision of a specialist. In February 2006, the supply process for all forms of home oxygen in England and Wales was changed, with the aim of giving patients more appropriate treatment through proper clinical assessment and correct ordering and monitoring of oxygen therapy.3 Here we reassess the role of short-burst oxygen therapy within these new supply arrangements.

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