Oxygen therapy: a key treatment requiring careful adjustments in routine clinical situations
Oxygen therapy is the first-line treatment of respiratory assistance on a daily basis. Millions of patients receive oxygen every day, whether it is during hospitalization or at home.
Although it is often considered to be a risk-free treatment, many publications have emphasized the need to carefully adjust the amount of oxygen administered in order to avoid complications associated with hypoxia as well as hyperoxia, which is receiving increasing levels of attention1. Clinicians generally have a positive attitude about oxygen and are more careful to correct hypoxia than to avoid the occurrence of hyperoxia.
In routine clinical situations, the manual and sporadic adjustment of oxygen flow rates often results in higher than necessary levels of oxygen being administered, thus prolonging the duration of oxygen therapy.