The prescription for supplemental oxygen therapy at home should include essential information.


The physician should give the underlying diagnosis that necessitates the use of oxygen.


Required information for an oxygen prescription:

(1) when to use the oxygen, including the number of hours to use each day

(2) oxygen flow rate in liters per minute when in use

(3) type of oxygen delivery system (gas, liquid, concentrator)

(4) method of delivery (cannulae, mask, other)

(5) humidification

(6) provision of an emergency backup system

(7) duration of therapy (from weeks to lifetime)


For most patients oxygen should be given for as many hours as possible. The patient should use oxygen at least 15 hours per day. Some patients may only need supplemental oxygen during exercise/exertion or during sleep.


The typical flow rate is less than 4 liters per minute. A higher flow rate may be investigated.


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.