Oxygen home therapy in chronic respiratory insufficiency. Report of experience with 70 patients
The effect of home long-term oxygen therapy has been evaluated in 70 patients (52 men and 18 women) with chronic respiratory insufficiency due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The mean duration of the observation period was 17.5 months, lasting at least 6 months and in a few cases over 40 months. The cumulative death rate was 22.6% in the first 12 months, 36.5% after two years and 40.7% in the third year. Compared to a previous period of 19.5 months there was an obvious reversal in hypoxemia, an increase in physical capacity and a reduction in the hospitalization rate. Patients with marked respiratory failure and with the clinical features of the “blue bloater” type of chronic bronchitis responded better to the home oxygen therapy than a group of “advanced pink puffers” with hypercapnia and high pulmonary arterial pressure. The present results do however confirm the beneficial effects of long-term domiciliary oxygen administration, and should encourage critical use of this new therapeutic regimen according to the indications so far recommended.