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Oxygen therapy – everything what you should know


Oxygen therapy is a modern way of treating people who suffer from respiratory failure due to chronic lung diseases, and in most cases chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which occurs as a result of e.g. smoking cigarettes.

Earlier, oxygen therapy was available only in hospitals but recently the so-called home oxygen therapy has developed.

 


Oxygen therapy is a treatment which consists in providing the organism with extra portion of the oxygen - the gas which is necessary for proper functioning of the organism. All body cells require constant supply of the oxygen. Some cells, especially neurons are particularly sensitive to oxygen deficiency. The break in supplying the oxygen to the brain for around 5 minutes leads to irreversible changes and later to death. The oxygen therapy is used to treat the diseases and medical conditions when oxygen deficiency in tissues occurs. Home oxygen therapy is used frequently in treating the diseases characterized by chronic progressive hypoxia (oxygen deficiency). The oxygen may be administrated by nasal cannula or face mask.



 

HOW DOES THE OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR WORK?


Oxygen concentrators are used in oxygen therapy which consists in providing the organism with concentrated portion of the oxygen - the gas which is necessary for proper functioning of the organism. Oxygen concentrators are used for effective treatment of oxygen deficiency in the organism which occurs in the course of many illnesses. Concentrators also provide high oxygen concentration in home oxygen therapy.

Concentrators are equipped with a heat-exchanger to preheat the oxygen before the administration and a humidifier which guarantee proper humidity of the gas. A number of filters allow obtaining pure mixture of breathing gases. Owing to compact dimensions, simple operation and high effectiveness in concentrating oxygen up to 96%, the usage of the concentrators in home-oxygen therapy is comfortable and safe for the patients. Oxygen therapy destroys anaerobic strains of bacteria, as well as various types of viruses and protozoa.


Characteristic features of a good oxygen concentrator:

  • Regulation of the oxygen flow

  • Legible control panel
  • The counter of worked hours
  • The possibility of setting operating time of the device 
  • Quiet operation
  • Ergonomic shape
  • Light weight
  • Mobility
  • Easy exchange of filters
  • Additional options: nebulizer, concentration alarm, oximeter, remote control


 

 

 

HOW OXYGEN THERAPY SHOULD LOOK LIKE?


Oxygen concentration in breathing gases should be as high as needed and as low as possible.

 

REMEMBER!

 

Oxygen is a medicine and should be used according to indications and dosed accurately. Oxygen overdosing may lead to the occurrence of toxic actions.


Gas mixture enriched with oxygen is cold and dry. That is why it is necessary to preheat the oxygen before administration as well as to humidify it additionally. The oxygen concentrator has to be equipped with a heat-exchanger and a humidifier. The breathing mixture should have the temperature of 370 C and humidity of 100%.

Oxygen deficiency in the organism is called hypoxia, whereas excessive level of oxygen in the organism is called hyperoxia. Both cases constitute the threat to life! The parameters of the breathing mixture as well as period of administration is always up to the doctor’s recommendation. Breathing hiperoxic mixture may be dangerous!

 

  
The oxygen may be administrated safely under the following concentration levels and indicated time of use:

  • Up to 100% - shorter than 6 hours
  • 60-70% - 24 hours
  • 40-50% - in the next 24 hours 


Oxygen in the concentration of 40% is potentially toxic after two days of use.

 

CONTRADICTIONS FOR HOME OXYGEN THERAPY

 

  • Fits of respiratory weakness (respiratory failure)
  • Sudden infections or allergies
  • Fits of migraine
  • Fits of coronary disease (exacerbation period)
  • Periods of increased hypertension
  • Epilepsy (inhalations may cause or intensify attacks)
  • Immunosuppressive therapy after transplantations
  • Pregnancy
  • Substance poisoning which impair breathing
  • In case of infants, inhalation with oxygen concentrated higher than 40% may cause damage of eye lenses or blindness



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