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Presse Med. 2009 May;38(5):726-33. doi: 10.1016/j.lpm.2008.08.009. Epub 2008 Dec 12.

[Supplemental oxygen for dyspnea for cancer patients in end-of-life palliative care].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Equipe mobile de soins palliatifs et de coordination en soins de support, CHU de Grenoble, BP 217, F-38043 Grenoble cedex 09, France. NBeziaud@chu-grenoble.fr

Abstract

It is difficult to know which patients with dyspnea and terminal cancer will benefit most from supplemental oxygen. Supplemental oxygen treatment is cumbersome, can cause psychological dependence, impair the quality of life of the patient and family, and may even be dangerous for people with chronic respiratory insufficiency. It must therefore not be used routinely. It is necessary to insist on the fundamental role of symptomatic treatment, such as morphine, and on massage as well as other physical care, which is essential when no specific treatment is possible any longer. If supplemental oxygen is ordered, its effectiveness must be assessed: it should be maintained only if it produces improvement.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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