All about Oxygen Therapy
It is an already known treatment, widely used to treat lung and heart diseases. Its use facilitates breathing, improves the body's metabolism and increases the strength of the heart and muscles in general.
Indications for Oxygen Therapy
Studies performed in patients with low oxygen levels in arterial blood with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) showed that the use of oxygen at home, at least for 15 hours/day, prolongs the life span of these patients. Based on these studies, the use of home oxygen therapy has become indispensable for the correction of low levels of oxygen in arterial blood and, consequently, for improving the life expectancy of patients with chronic lung disease.
In some cases of pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary edema and pneumonia, oxygen therapy may also be indicated. Oxygen should be used by patients who have low blood oxygen levels. These patients usually also have:
- Difficulty performing activities of daily living alone
- Pulmonary function and greatly altered gas exchange
- Depression and social isolation
- Countless hospitalizations
- Advanced age
- Other associated chronic diseases
Oxygen is essential for your health. If you have COPD, even when you're not out of breath, some of your body's major organs, including your heart, brain, kidneys, and muscles, may not be getting enough oxygen and can be damaged. If your condition worsens, it may become increasingly difficult to enjoy simple daily activities.
Benefits of Oxygen Therapy
Indicated as a medication, the benefits of oxygen therapy for the affected individual are:
- Prolonged life
- Greater ability to move around and maintain a social life
- Improved sleep and quality of life
- Improved heart function
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How is the oxygen in my blood measured?
Your doctor will confirm that the amount of oxygen in your blood is low by testing:
- Arterial blood gas: A small amount of blood is drawn from an artery (usually in the wrist). This test is very accurate and measures the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.
- Pulse oximetry: A device placed on your finger estimates the amount of oxygen in your blood. This test is simple and painless. It is usually performed in two stages: at rest and during efforts.
Talk to your doctor if in doubt!
Understanding your prescription
Your doctor will recommend the appropriate oxygen therapy for your needs. Your prescription may have three main parts:
- Flow rate is the amount of extra oxygen that meets your need where the flow rate in liters per minute (LPM) remains constant or changes based on your activities of daily living.
- Duration of use refers to the number of hours per day that oxygen therapy should be used .
- The type of oxygen delivery equipment you use will be recommended by your doctor based on your lifestyle.
- Air Liquide prohibits the customer/user from performing maintenance and repairs on the equipment.
- Use only distilled, filtered or boiled water. Never use serum in the humidifier cup.
- Use the cylinder and concentrator in a ventilated place.
- Make sure that the cylinder is away from any heat source (stove, barbecue, cigarette, fireplace). The cylinder must be at least 5 meters away.
- The accessories (nasal cannula, mask and humidifier cup) are for personal use and are materials that wear out over time. If you need to make continuous use of oxygen, we recommend keeping spare accessories (nasal cannula, humidifier cup) at home. Medical oxygen equipment must remain under the user's control at all times.
- The equipment must be closed when not in use. Cleaning and asepsis of the equipment(s) must be carried out in strict compliance with the procedure contained in the user manual.
- Never change the flow of oxygen without your doctor's permission.
- Do not leave the cannula on the seat/gurney or on other absorbent materials when not in use. Do not smoke and do not use the cylinder/concentrator near smokers.
- Do not use oils, fats or any substance to lubricate valves and regulators.