Archive for April, 2018

Treating acutely ill patients with too much oxygen can be life threatening, Canadian study finds

Monday, April 30th, 2018

The study's findings challenge the widely held belief that giving patients oxygen therapy is harmless. (Shutterstock)

Oxygen is given to millions of patients around the world every day, but too much of it can be harmful and life-threatening, according to a new Canadian scientific paper that in one expert’s view “is a very significant landmark study.”

McMaster University researchers were interested in testing the widely held belief that traditional oxygen therapy is harmless.

Their study, published this week in The Lancet medical journal, shows supplemental oxygen, when given liberally to acutely ill patients, increases the risk of death in people with sepsis, stroke, cardiac arrest, as well as those with trauma or requiring emergency surgery.

In their meta-analysis, the researchers systematically reviewed 25 randomized controlled trials of more than 16,000 adult patients that compared the use of liberal (supplemental oxygen) and conservative oxygen (room air) therapies. They concluded that for every 71 patients treated with excessive oxygen, an additional death occurs in hospital.

Click here to read the article originally published by CBC News.

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