Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) recently found that for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), having oxygen therapy at home leads to more occurrences of burn injury. The study’s findings are published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
The research team led by Alexander Duarte, MD, senior author and professor in of internal medicine at UTMB’s division of pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine analyzed claims data and enrollment of COPD patients aged over 66 years, all beneficiaries of Medicare, and assessed burn injury outcomes.
Results revealed that patients with COPD who underwent oxygen therapy at home were two times more prone (odds ratio, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.57-3.78) to have experienced a burn injury in the preceding 90 days, in comparison to patients with COPD that did not use the at-home oxygen therapy.
Results from a retrospective cohort investigation also revealed that the risk of burn injury was of 2.98 in every 1000 patents who underwent at-home oxygen therapy compared to 1.69 in every 1000 COPD patients who didn’t use oxygen therapy in a 22 months period of time. “The excess risk of a burn injury associated with oxygen was 0.704 per 1000 patients per year, and the number needed to harm was 1421,” the researchers said in a recent news release.
The research team also found that the factors more associated with an increase in the risk of burn injury were related to low socioeconomic status, male gender and the presence of 3 or more associated comorbidities.
Based on these results, the researchers mentioned that although at-home oxygen therapy improved lung function, their research shows that clinicians should take additional approaches to reduce the risk of burn injury in patients with COPD.
“The benefits of oxygen in COPD patients outweigh the modest risks of burn injury,” Duarte said in a news release. “However, health care professionals should educate and counsel patients and their families on the potential risk of burn injury and attempt to decrease this risk before prescribing home oxygen therapy.”
In other news on COPD, San Jose, California based LifeMap Solutions, a digital therapeutics provider startup subsidiary of BioTime, Inc., has launched a pilot program for COPD Navigator, an Apple HealthKit-compliant iOS app that enables patients to monitor and manage COPD symptoms.