A recent publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association is right up there with the study on how thrombolytics improve outcomes in patients with hemorrhagic strokes.
Researchers found that patients who were admitted to the intensive care unit after suffering a cardiac arrest were almost twice as likely to die if they had “hyperoxia” – which was defined as a PaO2 of 300 mmHg or more.
Hyperoxia patients died 63% of the time, hypoxia patients (PaO2 < 60 mmHg) died 57% of the time, and normoxia patients (PaO2 between 60 and 300) died 45% of the time.
Common thinking with the docs I know is that more oxygen is better – except with COPD patients.
Don’t have full access to the JAMA article, so am not sure what percentage of each group ended up actually walking out of the hospital. It is entirely possible that the patients who survived ended up in chronic vegetative states.
Nevertheless, this study plus the work of Gordon Ewy in advocating “chest compression only” CPR (no mouth-to-mouth) really bring the current “standard of care” for resuscitation of cardiac arrest into question.