Treating COPD with oxygen therapy

What is oxygen therapy and who is it for?

Oxygen therapy is a treatment that involves the prescription of supplemental oxygen to people who cannot obtain enough of it through normal breathing. 

In healthy people, the lungs absorb adequate amounts of oxygen from regular air. In people affected by certain diseases and conditions, oxygen intake is restricted and supplemental oxygen may be needed.

Some of these conditions include:

  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma
  • Late-stage heart failure
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Other respiratory lung diseases

A healthcare professional will determine whether a person requires supplemental oxygen by measuring the oxygen levels in their blood through oximetry, a non-invasive testing method using transmitted light, or an arterial blood test. 

What are the goals of oxygen therapy?

The primary goal of supplemental oxygen is to restore and maintain blood oxygen levels, namely peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2), between 92 - 100%.

Oxygen therapy also helps to:

  • Relieve hypoxemia (low blood oxygen levels)
  • Maintain adequate oxygenation of vital tissues and organs
  • Reduce the work of breathing
  • Improve quality of life

How is oxygen delivered?

Supplemental oxygen is prescribed by a physician or qualified healthcare profession and can be delivered three ways:

  • Oxygen concentrators
  • Compressed oxygen gas or liquid oxygen cylinders
  • Ventilators

ResMed provides devices capable of delivering the right amount of oxygen for you, including the ResMed Mobi portable oxygen concentrator – the latest addition to our respiratory care offerings.

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