The indications for the prescription of oxygen concentrators have been assessed in 82 patients against the Department of Health guidelines, except that only one set of blood gas and spirometry measurements was required if the patient's condition was stable. Of the 49 patients recommended for this treatment by a chest physician, 41 (82%) fulfilled the requirements, compared with only 11 of 33 patients where the concentrator was recommended by a general practitioner or non-specialist physician. Eleven patients died within one month of prescription. The results show that many patients are being prescribed oxygen concentrators without assessment and underline the importance of full assessment and attention to prognosis before prescription.
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