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Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

The Importance of Supplemental Oxygen—A Brief Video by the PFF

The Importance of Supplemental Oxygen—A Brief Video by the PFF

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation explains the importance of supplemental oxygen therapy in a brief video.

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Our body needs oxygen to sustain life. The lungs process the air we breathe, moving the oxygen into the blood which delivers it to cells throughout the body. People with lung disease, however, may need help in getting enough oxygen.

Below are highlights of an informative 3-minute video introducing the topic of supplemental oxygen therapy:*

When and What of Oxygen Therapy

  • Supplemental oxygen may be prescribed when oxygen saturation reaches 88% or below.
  • There are a variety of oxygen delivery systems (portable oxygen tank, oxygen concentrator, etc.) based on individual lifestyle, oxygen need, and availability.
  • People are advised to be sure the equipment is right for them before signing any contracts.

Why Oxygen Therapy (Potential Benefits)

  • Less shortness of breath
  • Remaining active
  • Less organ stress

If asked to monitor oxygen levels at home by their healthcare provider, patients should ask for a target oxygen level for maximum benefit, which they can monitor with a pulse oximeter.

Types of Oxygen Flow

  • Continuous flow whereby oxygen flows into the nose continuously, usually through a nasal cannula
  • Pulse or “demand” flow in which a regulator senses breathing and sends a dose of oxygen when you inhale for better conservation of oxygen and batteries

In most cases, oxygen flows through the nose via nasal cannula.


Oxygen equipment safety is an important factor.

  • Avoid, for example, flames, sparks, cigarettes, gas stoves, and hair dryers.
  • Oxygen itself is not flammable, but will make a fire burn more quickly.
  • Tanks should be stored upright, away from direct sunlight and heat sources, and not inside closets.
  • Don’t use broken or cracked oxygen tanks.

Visit the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation for more information on supplemental oxygen.

*Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. (2018, June 20). Life with Pulmonary Fibrosis | Supplemental Oxygen [Video]. From PFF YouTube channel.

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