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the artificial introduction of oxygen into the human body for therapeutic purposes.
Oxygen therapy is ordinarily used in the treatment of diseases associated with hypoxemia (cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, emphysema, altitude sickness, intoxication by asphyxiant gases, such as chlorine and phosgene). It is also used in the treatment of certain suppurative and putrefactive processes of the soft tis-sues (for example, gangrene). Either pure oxygen or a mixture of oxygen and air or 5–7 percent carbon dioxide (carbogen) can be used. Oxygen is introduced into the body by inhalation, subcutaneously, intraperitoneally, or through the intestine (to expel worms), using catheters, masks, oxygen pillows, special inhalers, and oxygen tents. Oxygen can also be administered under high pressure (hyperbaric oxygenation).