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COPD and long-term family oxygen therapy

Nov 16, 2020

For a long time, people have believed that oxygen inhalation therapy is an effective method for critically ill patients, especially for patients with severe COPD and acute episodes of hypoxia, which can effectively relieve the patient’s life-threatening effect. Once the condition improves, people take it for granted that there is no need to inhale oxygen, and even worry about whether long-term oxygen inhalation will become addictive and harmful to the body.

In fact, these views are caused by the lack of sufficient understanding of oxygen therapy. The need for long-term oxygen inhalation is not due to dependence and addiction to oxygen, but precisely because of chronic hypoxia in the body. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease suffer from chronic severe hypoxia, and are prone to shortness of breath, fatigue, memory loss, and even cyanosis of the lips, fingers, and toenails, and even cause dysfunction and damage to the brain, heart, liver, and kidneys. The worse the hypoxia, the earlier the occurrence of cor pulmonale. In addition, long-term hypoxia will also affect the body's immune defense function, so it is prone to repeated symptoms of respiratory infections.

The doctor suggested that some patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease need to continue long-term home oxygen therapy after their acute illness is controlled. The correct oxygen therapy can delay the further development of the disease, reduce respiratory infections, and improve the patient's quality of life.

The goal of long-term family oxygen therapy is to prevent COPD patients from experiencing severe hypoxia during rest, sleep and activities, and eliminate the adverse health effects of chronic hypoxia, such as correcting hypoxemia and reducing pulmonary arteries. Compression and delay the progression of pulmonary heart disease, etc., can ultimately prolong the survival time of patients and improve the quality of life.

Of course, not all patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary obstruction should be treated with long-term oxygen therapy. The clinical practice is mainly for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who have the following indications: after smoking cessation, medication and other treatments are stable, the patient still has arterial hypoxemia at rest. That is, when breathing indoor air, its arterial blood oxygen partial pressure is less than or equal to 55mmHg. If the partial pressure of blood oxygen is 55-59 mmHg, the following conditions should also be inhaled, such as secondary polycythemia; pulmonary hypertension; right heart failure.

 

The implementation method of family oxygen therapy:

Oxygen concentrator: Use the power supply device to make air pass through the molecular sieve in the generator to separate oxygen, nitrogen and other inert gases, and supply different concentrations of oxygen within the range of oxygen flow rate of 1-10 liters/min. It is convenient to use indoors without regular replacement, and is suitable for long-term oxygen therapy at home.

Oxygen inhalation method: double-cavity nasal catheter oxygen method, nasal congestion oxygen method and mask oxygen method.

The specific oxygen supply equipment used varies from person to person. But the oxygen consumption is consistent. When starting to inhale oxygen, the doctor should determine the amount of inhaled oxygen according to the condition, and strive to use the least flow of oxygen to achieve the maximum effect. Usually start with a low flow rate first, adjust the oxygen flow rate to about 1-3 liters/min, and increase the flow rate appropriately during sleep. Oxygen therapy should last about 15 hours a day.

In short, long-term home oxygen therapy is very practical for COPD patients. For the first time, it should be performed under the guidance of a specialist. Adjust the appropriate oxygen flow rate, keep the oxygen humidification and the humidification bottle clean, and at the same time, adhere to the treatment and persevere in order to achieve the desired effect.