Important - caution

  • In the later stages of DMD supplemental oxygen therapy should be used with caution.
  • While oxygen therapy can apparently improve low oxygen levels, using oxygen will mask the underlying cause, such as a collapsed lung or poor breathing.
  • Oxygen therapy may reduce the drive to breathe and lead to carbon dioxide retention.
  • Manual and mechanically assisted cough and non-invasive ventilatory support are likely to be necessary. Using oxygen therapy instead is not recommended and may be dangerous.
  • If oxygen is given, and it may sometimes have to be, then there needs to be very careful monitoring of the gases in the blood and/or help with the breathing should be given at the same time.

Information based on consensus statement (published in January 2010)