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Oxygen Therapy Provides Hospitalization Alternative

Aug 17, 2007
Oxygen therapy is a measure that can help many people who have various lung diseases lead relatively normal lives or at least help make them more comfortable during other treatments. Often times, this therapy is given in the privacy and comfort of a patient's own home. But, to be truly effective, the therapy must be handled with care.

Oxygen itself is vital for the life of every single cell in a human body. Cells obtain their energy from their interaction with oxygen. When there isn't enough oxygen for cells to perform their normal tasks, they can be damaged or even die. The energy provided by oxygen is necessary for everything from breathing to blinking and moving a finger. Inasmuch, if its levels are not adequate in the body problems, and some big ones, can arise.

Lung diseases likes emphysema diminish lung function and cut out on the amount of oxygen that enters the body in a normal fashion. In serious cases, supplemental oxygen is needed to help the body go about its normal business. With the use of oxygen therapy, people with these diseases can enjoy life and avoid hospitalization for a time.

For those who opt for home therapy, there are three basic ways oxygen can be dispensed. Compressed gas and liquid oxygen are two of the main ways oxygen is delivered to patients at home. The gas form can be compressed and stored in tanks for easy mobility. Liquid oxygen is the favorite of those who are a little more active. Since it is even more compressed that the gaseous form, smaller tanks can hold more and they are more convenient to carry. The problem with this type of oxygen is that it can evaporate quickly.

The third type of oxygen that can be given to patients at home is a concentrator. This device is a bit large, but it creates its own oxygen by taking it from the surrounding air and removing any impurities. The problem here is that these can be noisy, create heat and they are simply not portable.

Although it's not necessarily how a patient would want to spend their lives, therapy with oxygen can be very beneficial and in fact help a person with a serious condition enjoy life more freely. Oxygen supplements can increase a patient's ability to sleep, improve their mood and stamina and also enable their bodies to function more correctly.

Safety precautions must be considered for home oxygen use though. It's a good idea to keep open flames and cigarettes away from containers and the patient while he or she is using oxygen. This gas is very, very flammable. It is also important that people in the home know how to read canister gauges and know when to refill oxygen or when to order more.

Oxygen therapy is a very good route for lung patients to consider going at home. There's no need for nursing home care or hospitalization if other measures prove beneficial. Lung diseases are serious, but the impacts on quality of life can be lessened.
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