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Home Oxygen Users Experience Problems Related to Equipment

Health care providers report lack of readily accessible resources for prescription of oxygen systems

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Home oxygen users often experience problems related to their oxygen equipment that may impact their quality of life, according to a report published in the December issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Susan S. Jacobs, R.N., from Stanford University in California, and colleagues present recommendations from a multidisciplinary workshop convened with the goal of optimizing home oxygen therapy for adults.

The researchers note that the ideal supplemental oxygen therapy is patient-specific and should be provided by a qualified clinician and include an individualized prescription and a program of therapeutic education; oxygen systems that are safe, promote mobility, and treat hypoxemia should be offered. Oxygen users have recently reported problems with home oxygen use, including significant functional, mechanical, and financial problems and a lack of education related to the equipment; these can impact quality of life. Health care providers report a lack of readily accessible resources for correct and efficient prescription of oxygen systems. Patients with certain lung diseases and those with higher oxygen needs are affected to a greater degree. The impact of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Competitive Bidding Program on patients receiving supplemental oxygen from providers of durable medical equipment should be quantified.

“This workshop report documents for the first time an irrefutable consensus that [the current] oxygen system is broken, and in doing so provides the information necessary to advocate for change,” Jacobs said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

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