Recent evidence suggests that, if impaired gas exchange does actually develop, this practice may actually place patients at increased risk (see full Guideline section 6.3).
Third, a very high proportion of medical oxygen was administered because most clinicians believed, prior to 2008, that oxygen can alleviate breathlessness in most circumstances.
Second, oxygen has been administered to ill patients in case they might become hypoxaemic.
This will include ambulance staff, first responders, paramedics, doctors, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, pharmacists and all other healthcare professionals who may deal with ill or breathless patients.
Advice is also provided for first responders belonging to voluntary organisations or other non-NHS bodies.
There may be cases where it is appropriate for clinicians to act outwith the advice contained in this guideline because of the needs of individual patients, especially those with complex or interacting disease states.
Furthermore, the responsibility for the care of individual patients rests with the clinician in charge of the patient's care and the advice offered in this guideline must, of necessity, be of a general nature and should not be relied on as the only source of advice in the treatment of individual patients.