COPD and Oxygen Therapy Guidelines

COPD and oxygen are the main concerns of patients suffering from breathing difficulties. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a collective term for lung diseases that includes chronic obstructive airway diseases, chronic bronchitis, as well as, emphysema.

The individuals who are suffering from these lung diseases have trouble breathing. This difficulty of breathing is medically referred to as airway obstruction, most often, caused by smoking’s effects to the lungs.

The Effects Of COPD And Oxygen Requirements

Individuals with COPD suffer because of their insufficient ability to breathe in and out. These people’s

COPD and oxygen

Oxygen therapy helps sufferers breathe easier

lungs, in time, become very inflamed because of unnecessary irritation caused by cigarette smoking.

After a couple of years, the inflammation of the lungs progress and thus bring a permanent damage to the organ. The airway walls, in response to inflammation, strengthen their defenses through thickening their walls. The defense mechanism of the walls now offers more damages because an increased production of mucus now happens.

Because mucus causes damages to the lung’s air sac walls, the lung eventually losses the normal organ elasticity. The person then will experience difficulty breathing, most especially, in strenuous activities. These lung changes result to COPD and oxygen reduction symptoms as cough, increased amount of phlegm, and breathlessness.

Even if all damages that have occurred in the lungs are irreversible, you could prevent the development and progression of COPD and oxygen supplementation needs by lifestyle modification, first and foremost. Other treatments of COPD involves symptomatic treatments; for instance, utilizing an oxygen inhaler to assist breathing.

Managing COPD And Oxygen therapy

Numerous individuals who are suffering from COPD need continuous assistance from supplemental oxygen, most often referred to as oxygen therapy. Since blocked and damaged lungs cannot absorb oxygen properly, they could not distribute sufficient oxygen to the entire body. Without enough oxygen to use, all the organs will not be able to function well.

COPD and oxygen therapy will increase the pure oxygen amount every time the person breaths, hence, assisting the lungs to absorb more oxygen and share to other organs. Through grabbing enough oxygen, breathing will be easier and the person will now have the ability to perform more activities without having to experience breathing difficulties.

Assessment Of COPD And Oxygen Levels Measurement

Only the health care providers are authorized in determining how much supplemental oxygen a patient needs. The specific amount is identified through measuring the level of blood oxygen or knowing how much of the inhaled oxygen is distributed to other organs. Dependent on the level of blood oxygen, an individual might be advised to take in supplemental oxygen to make breathing easier.

There exist two main methods to determine the oxygen amount within an individual’s blood. These are oximeter test and ABG test. An oximeter apparatus is a non-invasive, small device which perfectly fits unto an individual’s finger. This apparatus blinks a light on the finger tip. The apparatus measures the light amount absorbed by the hemoglobin in the blood. The exact absorbed light amount will show the health care provider the corresponding amount of absorbed oxygen in the body. With ABG (Arterial Blood Gas) test for COPD and oxygen assessment, the health care provider gets blood from the patient’s artery to measure the blood levels within a laboratory facility. This method is the most accurate in terms of identifying the oxygen levels in the blood. This could be performed during a regular check-up with a physician.

COPD And Oxygen Therapy Supplementation Systems And Devices

Oxygen for supplementation is being delivered through systems of three kinds: liquid cylinders, compressed cylinders, and concentrators. Each of these will push oxygen by way of a tube through the patient’s nose. Liquid oxygen cylinders, actually, are average-sized tanks containing liquid oxygen. Liquid oxygen is achieved through oxygen gas cooling. If to be compared with some other COPD and oxygen therapy systems, this oxygen cylinder can hold more amounts of oxygen. However, these can’t be kept for prolonged periods of time because the liquid oxygen has the tendency to evaporate.

Compressed oxygen cylinders, on the other hand, are filled with sufficient oxygen that could last for as long as 8 hours, according to the patient’s oxygen needs. These are refillable tanks and could be reused for several years. These cylinders weigh 8 pounds or less and are convenient to carry in wheeled carts or side packs. Oxygen concentrators, lastly, take in the air in the room, filter the gasses out, and come up with pure oxygen only. This produced oxygen is pushed through small tube to deliver the oxygen directly into a person’s nose by way of the nasal canals. These are commonly utilized when patients are, most of the time, at home.

Regardless of the kind of COPD and oxygen therapy system being used, always remember: oxygen is flammable. Therefore, smoking must not be permitted. Also, these equipments must not be situated in places near flame or heat sources. Regularly assess for leaks and perform adequate equipment care.

Today, there are numerous devices which could be utilized to deliver supplemental oxygen into the patient’s body. Some of the very popular ones are nasal cannulae, conserving devices, and transtracheal devices.

A nasal cannula is a small tube which can rest inside a patient’s nose. This cannula receives supplemental oxygen from a system that pushes oxygen into a thin, small tube which runs underneath the chin, behind ears and in the nose. This is the most famous device for oxygen delivery because of the fact that they are non-invasive and inexpensive. However, this is not as excellent as the other methods, in terms of efficiency, because they still deliver oxygen even when the patient is breathing out.

COPD and oxygen conserving therapy devices, on the other hand, work with the patient’s pattern of breathing to make oxygen delivery possible during inhalation. The two most popular types of conserving devices are intermittent flow and reservoir cannula. Devices that are deemed intermittent are attached to the tank of the oxygen to regulate the oxygen volume to be delivered during inhalation. Reservoir cannula, actually, is a device which is affixed into the tube of the oxygen in between oxygen source and nasal cannula. This particular device stores supplemental oxygen within a small container while the patient is breathing out and eventually releases the stored oxygen during inhalation.

Transtracheal COPD and oxygen therapy device delivers oxygen through a tiny catheter that is inserted directly to the trachea. This approach is the most efficient of all; however, this is invasive. A minor surgery is required for the catheter to be inserted. The downsides in this option are the fact that, the patient will be at risk of infection, the device will require constant cleaning, and mucus plugging will occur.

Because COPD is a disease that involves the lungs, this must treated immediately and properly. Numerous treatment choices are now available in the market; however, the most effective is still lifestyle modification.

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