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Audit of oxygen prescribing before and after the introduction of a prescription chart

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 07 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:864
  1. M E Dodd (, specialist physiotherapy cliniciana,
  2. F Kellet, senior physiotherapista,
  3. A Davis, senior physiotherapista,
  4. J C G Simpson, senior registrarb,
  5. A K Webb, consultant physiciana,
  6. C S Haworth, research fellowa,
  7. R McL Niven, consultant physiciana
  1. a North West Lung Centre, South Manchester University Hospitals Trust, Manchester M23 9LT
  2. b Stepping Hill Hospital, Poplar Grove, Stockport SK2 7JE
  1. Correspondence to: M E Dodd
  • Accepted 11 May 2000

Oxygen, used to treat hypoxaemia, may be lethal and should therefore be considered a drug and be prescribed.1 It is, however, recognised that oxygen is poorly prescribed by doctors.2 To ensure the safe and effective delivery of oxygen the prescription should include the flow rate, the concentration, the delivery device, the duration, and the method for monitoring treatment.2 We audited the prescription of oxygen to inpatients by doctors before and after the introduction of a specific prescription chart.

Participants, methods, and results

Junior doctors at the North West Lung Centre are given two lectures on practical aspects of oxygen delivery and prescribing at the beginning of their one year's rotation in respiratory medicine. In 1997 and 1998 the doctors were informed that an audit of their prescribing practice would take place some time during the next year. The outcome measures of …

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