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CONTROVERSY OF SHORT BURST OXYGEN
Short burst oxygen therapy refers to the use of oxygen intermittently or “as needed” for the relief of breathlessness and should be distinguished from ambulatory oxygen therapy where oxygen is used during exercise. As Roberts points out in his editorial, various COPD guidelines have provided little useful guidance for the use of short burst oxygen. This is largely due to the inconsistency of the evidence for its benefit, and recent studies have suggested that short burst therapy is largely ineffective. In this issue of Thorax we report a randomised study by Stevenson and Calverley in which they studied the effect of oxygen on recovery after maximal exercise. The results were interesting in that, although oxygen produced a more rapid resolution of dynamic hyperinflation, it had no effect on dyspnoea. They also found that use of a face mask for oxygen administration was associated with faster improvement in dyspnoea, …
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