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A case of burns during home oxygen therapy

A case of burns during home oxygen therapy

Japanese Journal of Chest Diseases 49(6): 530-535

A 74-year old female with chronic respiratory failure was under home oxygen therapy using oxygen cylinder. When she tried to light a cigarette, the nasal cannula was accidentally ignited and she suffered from deep dermal burns bilaterally on the cheeks and nares, and full thickness burns on the right thigh and the left knee. Bronchoscopy revealed no findings of inhalation injury. In order to investigate the cause of the nasal tube ignition, we performed several experiments, using various levels of oxygen concentration. Because the number of patients with chronic respiratory failure who require home oxygen therapy is increasing, the risk of accidental ignition of the oxygen passages is also increasing. Those patients have a high risk of fatal respiratory distress when injured by burn. Because the aged are handicapped in understanding and adapting, careful management and education should be offered when home oxygen therapy is indicated in order to prevent such accidents.

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