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Continuous Oxygen Therapy in Chronic Airway Obstruction: Observations on Possible Oxygen Toxicity and Survival

THOMAS L. PETTY, M.D.; RAY E. STANFORD, M.D.; and THOMAS A. NEFF, M.D.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Thomas L. Petty, M.D., 4200 E. Ninth Ave., Denver, Colo. 80220


Denver, Colorado


Ann Intern Med. 1971;75(3):361-367. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-75-3-361
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Continuous ambulatory oxygen, in sufficient flow to correct hypoxemia, was given to 20 patients with severe chronic airway obstruction. Survival ranged from 7 to 61 months, with 14 patients dying after an average of 26.7 months on oxygen. Postmortem examination in 12 of these showed exudative or proliferative tissue change consistent with oxygen toxicity in 6 and no such changes in 6. Survival was not shortened in those with histologic changes attributable to oxygen. Five patients have lived an average of 42.4 months with continued excellent clinical benefit. The clinical value of oxygen outweighs the possibility of oxygen toxicity.

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