Health and Fitness

What is oxygen therapy?

Oxygen therapy is a practice that involves giving oxygen to people with respiratory conditions or other medical issues that result in low levels of oxygen in their blood. This therapy aims to improve oxygenation, relieve any unpleasant symptoms, and enhance the overall well-being of patients. Oxygen therapy is used in healthcare settings in the UK, from hospitals to clinics, and in the patients’ own homes.

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How is oxygen therapy administered?

Oxygen therapy is administered via tubes placed in the nostrils or a mask over the nose and mouth. Different types of devices will deliver the oxygen, including portable cylinders and an oxygen concentrator.

Is oxygen therapy prescribed?

Oxygen therapy is typically prescribed by doctors or respiratory specialists. The patient’s medical condition and oxygen requirements will be taken into consideration before deciding the way forward. The decision to begin oxygen therapy depends on the patient’s arterial blood gas levels, pulse oximetry readings, and the severity of the condition.

Is the administration of home oxygen therapy possible?

Some people may receive oxygen therapy at home, especially if their medical condition requires continuous oxygen supplementation. Home oxygen therapy involves providing the necessary equipment and full training for both the patients and care providers. More information on a range of professional clinical training courses to ensure skills are kept up to date is available from specialist healthcare training providers such as

Oxygen therapy can be beneficial for many people, including those with long COVID

What conditions can oxygen therapy help?

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People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, heart failure, long-term asthma and cystic fibrosis can benefit from oxygen therapy. Those with breathing problems caused by being obese and those who have an underlying medical condition can also benefit from oxygen therapy.

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