This report is the first of a series of national conferences sponsored by the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP). The overall objective is to facilitate the transfer of new knowledge into the practice of medicine. Topics will be selected on the basis of rapid growth of new knowledge and the recognition by ACCP members of a need to report recent advances to practitioners and allied health professionals.
Oxygen therapy was selected as the topic for the first ACCP National Conference because of major advances in the last decade in both basic and applied knowledge in this field. Progress has been made in our understanding of the molecular basis for oxygen toxicity and tolerance. Clinical studies have established the benefits of oxygen therapy in chronic hypoxemic lung disease and some normoxemic conditions. The availability of improved oxygen delivery systems has made home oxygen therapy practical. These advances have presented the