OxyFile #147

Portable oxygen therapy: assessment and usage.

SH Lock; EA Paul; RM Rudd; JA Wedzicha.

Respiratory Medicine
1991 Sep, 85(5):407-12.
(UI:  92100900)

Abstract: 

Fifty portable oxygen assessments, based on 6-min walking tests, were 
reviewed to produce guidelines for assessment and prescription of 
portable oxygen, and to evaluate factors predicting benefit.  Patients 
with a portable cylinder were questioned about benefits/difficulties 
and usage of portable oxygen.  A significant improvement on the oxygen 
compared to the air walk was found (median 9.7%) which correlated with 
the oxygen desaturation on the baseline walk (r = 0.51, P less than 
0.05).  A placebo effect was demonstrated using an air cylinder 
(median improvement 6.1%).  There was no correlation between 
improvement in walking distance and decrease in visual analogue scale 
(VAS) score of breathlessness.  We recommend standard portable oxygen 
assessments based on a series of 6-min walks.  Improvements of 10% in 
walking distance or VAS score from the oxygen to the air walk would 
lead to the patient being offered a portable oxygen cylinder.