The role of general practitioners in home oxygen therapy
AbstractRecommendation of oxygen therapy must include clear indication and benefits of its use, appropriate prescription, vigilant monitoring and appropriate methods of delivery. Home oxygen therapy is expensive, inconvenient and cumbersome; it should be recommended only if benefits outweigh the disadvantages and adverse effects of oxygen. GPs play an important supportive and supervisory role in the use of long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) to improve mortality of patients with chronic hypoxaemia. Prescription of short burst oxygen therapy (SBOT) for palliation of breathlessness is without clear evidence of its efficacy. GPs can prescribe SBOT when other secondary causes of breathlessness are excluded or treated, when breathlessness is not relieved by other treatments and if an improvement can be documented in patients.
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