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Oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen in the lungs
and the bloodstream. You may need oxygen therapy if there are signs that the
cells of your body are not getting enough oxygen.
You may use
oxygen therapy at home or in the hospital if you have low oxygen levels in your
blood because of
pneumonia, lung cancer, COPD, ARDS, or other conditions. You can choose between a number of delivery
systems and breathing devices.
Oxygen delivery systems
You can breathe your oxygen through a face mask or a
flexible plastic tube inserted in your nostrils (nasal cannula).
Choose your oxygen delivery system based on your ability to
move around. People who are homebound may find an oxygen concentrator gives
them the best combination of convenience and cost.
In all oxygen
delivery systems, the risk of fire or explosion is high if you use oxygen
around lit cigarettes or an open flame. If you or those who care for you smoke,
oxygen therapy may not be a good option.
March 6, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
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