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Home oxygen - still room for improvement


There are three ways of giving oxygen at home to patients with lung disease: long-term low-dose therapy for patients with chronic obstructive respiratory failure, portable oxygen for those with exercise-related breathlessness, and intermittent ‘short burst’ oxygen for temporary relief of breathlessness. When we last reviewed home oxygen therapy,1 on economic grounds, we recommended giving oxygen from a concentrator rather than cylinders. We also highlighted the confusion over methods of supply, and the lack of data showing benefits from portable and intermittent therapy, and concluded that ‘the initiation of oxygen therapy should be the responsibility of the hospital physician’. We now review experience with home oxygen since then.

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