JOURNAL ARTICLE
PRACTICE GUIDELINE
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British Thoracic Society guidelines for home oxygen use in adults.

Thorax 2015 June
The British Thoracic Society (BTS) Home Oxygen Guideline provides detailed evidence-based guidance for the use of home oxygen for patients out of hospital. Although the majority of evidence comes from the use of oxygen in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the scope of the guidance includes patients with a variety of long-term respiratory illnesses and other groups in whom oxygen is currently ordered, such as those with cardiac failure, cancer and end-stage cardiorespiratory disease, terminal illness or cluster headache. It explores the evidence base for the use of different modalities of oxygen therapy and patient-related outcomes such as mortality, symptoms and quality of life. The guideline also makes recommendations for assessment and follow-up protocols, and risk assessments, particularly in the clinically challenging area of home oxygen users who smoke. The guideline development group is aware of the potential for confusion sometimes caused by the current nomenclature for different types of home oxygen, and rather than renaming them, has adopted the approach of clarifying those definitions, and in particular emphasising what is meant by long-term oxygen therapy and palliative oxygen therapy. The home oxygen guideline provides expert consensus opinion in areas where clinical evidence is lacking, and seeks to deliver improved prescribing practice, leading to improved compliance and improved patient outcomes, with consequent increased value to the health service.

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