Educate on burn risk for COPD patients, study advises

Friday, April 3, 2015

GALVESTON, Texas – Home oxygen therapy puts patients with COPD at risk for burns, according to a new study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Researchers looked at 685 Medicare patients with COPD who suffered burns and 2,055 who did not between 2001 and 2010, and found that those who suffered burns were more likely to have been prescribed home oxygen therapy within 90 days prior to their burns. Still, “the benefits of oxygen in COPD patients outweigh the modest risks of burn injury,” said senior study author Dr. Alexander Duarte, a professor in the division of pulmonary critical care and sleep medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Duarte advises healthcare professionals to educate and counsel patients and their families on the potential risk of burn injury. Overall, one out of 1,421 COPD patients who have been prescribed oxygen therapy suffer a burn each year, according to the study.