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Thorax. 2015 Jun;70 Suppl 1:i1-43. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2015-206865.

British Thoracic Society guidelines for home oxygen use in adults.

Author information

  • 1Oxford Centre of Respiratory Medicine, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, UK.
  • 2Hywel Dda University Health Board, Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli, UK.
  • 3Portsmouth NHS Trust, Portsmouth, UK.
  • 4Lung Function and Sleep, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
  • 5Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership Trust, Staffordshire, UK.
  • 6Mundesley Medical Centre, Mundesley, UK.
  • 7Improvement Academy (Y&H AHSN) Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS FT, Wakefield, UK.
  • 8Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK.
  • 9Respiratory Care Team, Virgin Care, Surrey, UK.
  • 10University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
  • 11Department of Physiotherapy, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK.
  • 12Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool, UK.
  • 13Respiratory Department, Royal United Hospital, Bath, UK.
  • 14Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK.
  • 15Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.


The British Thoracic Society (BTS) Home Oxygen Guideline provides detailed evidence-based guidance for the use of home oxygen for patients out of hospital. Although the majority of evidence comes from the use of oxygen in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the scope of the guidance includes patients with a variety of long-term respiratory illnesses and other groups in whom oxygen is currently ordered, such as those with cardiac failure, cancer and end-stage cardiorespiratory disease, terminal illness or cluster headache. It explores the evidence base for the use of different modalities of oxygen therapy and patient-related outcomes such as mortality, symptoms and quality of life. The guideline also makes recommendations for assessment and follow-up protocols, and risk assessments, particularly in the clinically challenging area of home oxygen users who smoke. The guideline development group is aware of the potential for confusion sometimes caused by the current nomenclature for different types of home oxygen, and rather than renaming them, has adopted the approach of clarifying those definitions, and in particular emphasising what is meant by long-term oxygen therapy and palliative oxygen therapy. The home oxygen guideline provides expert consensus opinion in areas where clinical evidence is lacking, and seeks to deliver improved prescribing practice, leading to improved compliance and improved patient outcomes, with consequent increased value to the health service.

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Long Term Oxygen Therapy (LTOT)

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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