Risks of high flow oxygen in respiratory conditions
Oxygen may be administered in a wide range of medical conditions. However there is uncertainty regarding the safety of this therapy in certain settings. In particular, oxygen has the potential to increase the level of carbon dioxide (a waste product) in the blood.
Three trials have been performed to investigate this effect in patients with different respiratory conditions. These were: asthma, pneumonia and a high body mass index known to affect breathing. In all three studies it was demonstrated that oxygen had the potential to increase carbon dioxide levels.
Recently, we investigated whether this effect occurred in patients with bronchiectasis and hospital in-patients with a high body mass index. The results of these studies are currently being analysed.
Currently we are conducting a study to investigate the effect of different types of oxygen delivery, including via high flow nasal cannulae, which are nasal prongs designed to heat and humidify the air.
We are continuing our research with three ongoing studies and are looking for volunteers to help us investigate whether oxygen increases carbon dioxide levels in patients with neuromuscular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and patients with pulmonary fibrosis.
For an over view presentation regarding research in oxygen therapy please see: