Paradigms of Oxygen Therapy in Critically Ill Patients

Oxygen administration to patients has potential advantages and some evident drawbacks. Several clinical settings, mainly critical scenarios, demand high oxygen inspired fractions (FiO2) in order to assure safe reserve margins for an eventual arterial desaturation (for example before tracheal intubation in operating room). On the other end some evidence shows that maintain high FiO2 during surgical procedures and/or controlled ventilation in the intensive care units might be more harmful than beneficial. The aim of this revision was to show what type of decision clinicians may make, regarding the amount of oxygen that should be given to patients, with a special focus on the pros and cons of its liberal utilization.


Marta Carvalho, Maria Soares and Humberto S Machado

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