Domiciliary oxygen therapy services: clincial guidelines and advice for prescribers


Report of a working party of the Royal College of Physicians

This report was published in 1999.

Although criteria for the use of long-term oxygen in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are well established, a number of studies have revealed variability in prescribing habits, poor adherence to present guidelines and lack of organised follow-up and monitoring arrangements.

The Department of Health therefore requested that a multidisciplinary working party, under the auspices of the Royal College of Physicians should provide guidance for the use of domiciliary oxygen. Indications are given in the report for the provision of oxygen therapy for adult patients with chronic respiratory disease and also in paediatrics, cardiology and palliative medicine. The organisation of home oxygen services is discussed in detail and proposals are made for improved methods of prescribing and for patient education. Recommendations are accompanied by levels of evidence and the report includes an extensive bibliography to support its findings.

The report was prepared for those involved in the care and assessment of patients with respiratory and cardiac disease who require domiciliary oxygen. In particular, it was targeted at general practitioners and general physicians, geriatricians, palliative care physicians and cardiologists. Nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and pharmacists would also find much valuable guidance in the report.

The report is available to download as a pdf.


  • Foreword - KGMM Alberti PRCP
  • Definitions and Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • Recommendations
  • Indications and assessments for oxygen therapy
  • Technology for provision of home oxygen therapy
  • Organisation of home oxygen services
  • Paediatric domiciliary oxygen therapy
  • Travel for patients on domiciliary oxygen therapy
  • Appendix: Domiciliary oxygen record forms

The report is available to download as a pdf.

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