A hazard of home oxygen therapy

J Burn Care Rehabil. 2001 Jan-Feb;22(1):71-4; discussion 70-1. doi: 10.1097/00004630-200101000-00015.


Although it is generally safe, there are morbidities associated with home oxygen use. Experience in our burn unit led to an analysis of burn complications from this therapy. A retrospective review of records during a 12-year period identified 23 patients with burns associated with home oxygen use. Average age of the patients was 70 years, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease the most prevalent indication for use. Concomitant cigarette smoking was the most common inciting mechanism of the burns (70%). Average burn size was 3.9% of total body surface area. Eleven patients presented in the first 10 years of the study period, whereas 12 presented in the last 2 years. We have seen a rise in injuries with the use of home oxygen. The absolute number of injuries sustained is unknown, because many are likely unreported. To decrease the morbidity and costs associated with these injuries, the need for continuing safety education is apparent.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / statistics & numerical data
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Burn Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Burns / epidemiology
  • Burns / etiology*
  • Facial Injuries / epidemiology
  • Facial Injuries / etiology*
  • Female
  • Home Nursing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Length of Stay / economics
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / complications
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / methods*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Distribution