Liquid Oxygen Therapy et home

01-27-2005 | Modes d'intervention en santé

The benefits of long term oxygen therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been well established and there is good consensus internationally around clinical indications for re- ferral and treatment. There is, however, only limited evidence and guidance about the use of portable oxygen systems (liquid or gas) at home as a component of long term oxygen therapy.

Liquid oxygen systems for home use were introduced in the 1980s to offer patients the convenience of smaller, lighter equipment that delivered oxygen for an extended time period outside the home, in comparison to other oxygen delivery systems. There is a wide variation in the use of liquid oxygen at home and in the organization of services within and across jurisdictions. Technology in this area continues to evolve rapidly, although the specific benefits to patients have not been adequately documented. There is scant evidence regarding the contribution of liquid systems to enhanced dura- tion and quality of life in comparison to other systems; there is some evidence that the technology has some advantages in terms of user-friendliness. Guidelines for use have recently been published in the United Kingdom and the United States that suggest criteria related to the patient’s mobility, us- age, and compliance.

There is no routine data available about the cost or utilization of liquid oxygen therapy in Québec, although its use is known to be rare as a ‘traitement d’exception’ in the public system, given the rela- tively higher cost and clinical concerns about added benefit. Its use is higher in Ontario where it is covered by the provincial Home Oxygen Program. It is likely that this technology would offer some benefit to active COPD patients although the identification of clinical and social criteria for assess- ment and monitoring should be developed by clinicians and decision-makers in Québec within the context of a comprehensive home oxygen program.

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