Oxygen therapy

The process of supplying a person with oxygen-enriched air to relieve severe hypoxia (inadequate oxygen in body tissues). The oxygen is usually delivered through a face-mask or a nasal cannula (a length of narrow plastic tubing with two prongs that are inserted into the nostrils). Piped oxygen is used in hospitals; oxygen in cylinders can be used at home for acute attacks of hypoxia, such as those occurring in severe asthma. Long-term therapy for people with persistent hypoxia may involve the use of an oxygen concentrator. (See also hyperbaric oxygen treatment.)


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