Oxygen Therapy Is Used In Both Respiratory And Emergency Medicine
Oxygen therapy is used widely in both respiratory and emergency medicine. Acute oxygen therapy is used empirically in cardiorespiratory arrest, hypotension, or respiratory distress. Acute oxygen is also used where hypoxia or respiratory failure is present in conditions such as pneumonia, exacerbation of airways disease, and pulmonary embolus. High inspired oxygen fractions may speed resolution of pneumothorax. Use in acute heart failure is now supplemented by continuous positive airways pressure, but in acute myocardial infarction is controversial. Use of chronic oxygen therapy in a domiciliary setting has increased since the landmark studies carried out in the 1980s, and our knowledge of the benefits of such therapy continues to draw heavily on studies of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Longterm oxygen therapy for 15hday or more improves survival in chronically hypoxic COPD patients, and probably also improves quality of life. The use of nocturnal oxygen in patients with isolated overnight hypoxia is controversial. Ambulatory oxygen is increasingly utilized with studies showing improvement in exercise tolerance, reduced dyspnea, and improved short-term quality of life. Finally, the use of short-burst or intermittent oxygen therapy as required for relief of dyspnea does not appear justified based on current evidence.