Long-term oxygen therapy for COPD. Improving longevity and quality of life in hypoxemic patients

Postgrad Med. 1998 Apr;103(4):143-4, 147-8, 153-5. doi: 10.3810/pgm.1998.04.443.


Long-term oxygen therapy can increase life expectancy in hypoxemic patients with COPD. Accurate identification of hypoxemia requires arterial blood gas measurements. Pulse oximetry can be used to measure trends in oxygenation, oxygen needs, and oxygen requirements during exercise and sleep. A detailed oxygen prescription indicates: (1) the oxygen dose (L/min), (2) the number of hours per day that oxygen therapy is required, (3) the dose required during exercise, (4) the oxygen supply system: concentrator, compressed gas cylinder, or liquid oxygen reservoir, and (5) the delivery device: nasal cannula, demand-flow device, reservoir cannula, or transtracheal oxygen catheter.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / etiology
  • Hypoxia / therapy*
  • Longevity
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / complications
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy* / instrumentation
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy* / methods
  • Quality of Life