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Journal of Community Nursing (JCN) | August 2015

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Home oxygen therapy: an update for community nurses

Home oxygen therapy: an update for community nurses
Respiratory

Article topics: Home care, Oxygen therapy, Pulse oximetry, Respiration

Community nurses often have people with chronic respiratory disease on their caseloads and among the vital skills needed to manage this group is the measurement of resting oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry, which can help the nurse decide whether or not to refer the patient onto a specialist oxygen service for assessment. Many elderly patients also have a diagnosis of chronic lung disease and will be receiving long-term oxygen therapy. Pulse oximetry is helpful in assessing whether the prescribed oxygen flow rate is correct for the individual — this may change over time if the patient’s condition deteriorates. This article examines the latest techniques and equipment in home oxygen therapy and the author pays particular attention to pulse oximeters, which are an affordable clinical assessment tool and can easily be added to the equipment already used by community nurses.