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Misunderstanding Concerning the Proper Clinical Use of Oxygen

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University of Colorado Medical Center
Denver, Colo.

Ann Intern Med. 1969;70(3):645-646. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-70-3-645
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Although oxygen has been available in clinical medicine for many years, its use, particularly in chronic airway obstruction, has remained controversial, even in patients with acute or chronic respiratory insufficiency and hypoxemia. This attitude remains at a time when we have improved knowledge concerning precision of oxygen administration in patients with acute respiratory failure (1, 2) and evidence of the safety and efficacy of continuous oxygen for prolonged periods in ambulatory patients (3, 4).

In chronic airway obstruction (emphysema and chronic bronchitis) acute exacerbations of infection frequently lead to acute uncompensated respiratory failure, often with profound hypoxemia with or without




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