Use of oxygen

This information is for health and social care professionals. You may also want to see our information for people living with or affected by MND on:

Motor neurone disease (MND) is a progressive and terminal disease that attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord.

Respiratory muscle weakness occurs eventually in everyone with MND. Oxygen should be used with caution in the presence of respiratory muscle weakness, because this weakness can lead to the retention of carbon dioxide (hypercapnia) rather than hypoxia (inadequate levels of oxygen in the body).

In this situation, non-invasive ventilation may be the most appropriate treatment, as oxygen therapy can lead to further respiratory depression.

However, when oxygen levels are low, oxygen may sometimes be used with caution and appropriate monitoring – preferably under guidance of the person’s specialist team. Oxygen can be used with NIV.

Useful resources

See our care pathways page

For further information and support contact our MND Connect helpline

mndconnect 0808 802 6262