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Study challenges value of oxygen therapy in end-of-life care
Date:9/2/2010

"It's important to understand that we are not suggesting that physicians abandon medical gas therapy. It may indeed be helpful. But this study tells us that it is not the oxygen itself that is making the difference, and if treatment is not improving symptoms after a few days, then it's ok to stop treatment and try something else.

The old adage just isn't true that stopping palliative oxygen is akin to removing a sustaining, meaningful treatment when people are most vulnerable."

Abernethy says that when it comes to care toward the end of life, timing matters more than ever. "We need to be smarter at what we do for our patients and when we do it. As physicians, we only have a very short time to dip into our toolbox to find the right solution. It's studies like this that can help inform our decisions and ultimately give our patients the best care possible."


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Contact: Michelle Gailiun
michelle.gailiun@duke.edu
919-660-1306
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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