Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Call for oxygen re-think in resus

  • Comment
Inhaling 100 per cent pure oxygen can be harmful to the brain, according to a small US study.

Inhaling 100 per centpure oxygen can be harmful to the brain, according to a small US study.

The authors strongly recommended adding carbon dioxide to oxygen, especially in resuscitation where 100 per centoxygen is seen as the "gold standard".

University of California researchers scanned the brains of 14 healthy children aged 8-15 as they inhaled pure oxygen, and then a mix of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

They found inhaling 100 per centpure oxygen over-activated the hypothalamus, triggering a set of harmful reactions and releasing hormones and neuro-transmitters that can injure the brain and heart. But adding carbon dioxide to the oxygen calmed the hypothalamus and relaxed blood vessels.

Rob Morrison, senior resuscitation officer for Darent Valley Hospital, said: "This is an interesting study and it does highlight the issue. But more research needs to be undertaken before we can consider changing practice."

Public Library of Science: www.plos.org

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.