Clinical respiratory physiology

December 2003
Thorax;Dec2003 Supplement 3, Vol. 58, piii16
Academic Journal
Oxygen therapy for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is controversial. A small proportion of these patients will develop hypercarbic respiratory failure when exposed to supplemental oxygen. Predicting which patients will develop this complication is notoriously difficult and the resultant rationing of oxygen may lead to unnecessary hypoxaemia. Researchers hypothesized that the rate of change of peripheral oxygen saturation associated with different inspired oxygen fractions gives clinicaly useful information with regard to the hypercarbic response.


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