3.6 Oxygen

Please click  for full BNF information

Please see the BTS guidelines for Home Oxygen use in Adults

Oxygen should only be prescribed for use in the home after careful evaluation in hospital by respiratory experts.

Patients should be advised of the risks of continuing to smoke when receiving oxygen therapy, including the risk of fire. Smoking cessation therapy (section 4.10) should be tried before home oxygen prescription.

Long-term oxygen therapy

Long-term administration of oxygen (usually at least 15 hours daily) prolongs survival in some patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Short-burst oxygen therapy

Short-burst oxygen therapy can be used to improve exercise capacity and recovery; it should only be continued if there is proven improvement in breathlessness or excercise tolerance.

Ambulatory oxygen therapy

Ambulatory oxygen is prescribed for patients on long-term oxygen therapy who need to be away from home on a regular basis. Patients who are not on long-term oxygen therapy can be considered for ambulatory oxygen therapy if there is evidence of exercise-induced oxygen desaturation and of improvement in blood oxygen satuartion and exercise capacity with oxygen. Ambulatory oxygen therapy is not recommended for patients with heart failure or those who smoke.

Related pages

Keep up to date with the latest news

Find out what is happening in our services here.

Tell Us Your Views

Click here to find out how you can feedback to us about your experiences, along with how to raise any concerns, complaints or questions.