The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has endorsed new British Thoracic Society guidelines on the use of emergency oxygen, which is prescribed to treat hypoxaemia. The draft guidelines were reviewed by the RPS’s Hospital Expert Advisory Group (HEAG), who also provided comments from a pharmacy perspective.
Among a range of recommendations, the guidelines advise prescribers to adjust oxygen dosage towards a target blood saturation range, tailored to individual patients and monitored throughout the course of treatment. In the past, oxygen had been prescribed at a fixed rate, but under this procedure many patients did not receive the prescribed concentration.
Rob Duncombe, chair of the HEAG, said: “We strongly support these guidelines, and are pleased that RPS and HEAG colleagues were able to review and endorse them. Oxygen is a drug like any other — and we need to treat it as such. Just like any other medicine, harm can occur through its incorrect use.”