Could Giving Oxygen Be Doing More Harm Than Good: Heart Attack ?

common practice of giving patients oxygen to inhale during a heart attack – There is no evidence that the  is beneficial, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review.  the researchers say the possibility that giving oxygen may actually increase a patient’s risk of dying cannot be ruled out Until further research is carried out.

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Patients were either given pure oxygen or air to inhale in the 24 hours following the onset of heart attack symptoms. The researchers included data from three trials in their studies.  Of the 387 patients involved in the studies only 14 died, but of these, almost three times as many had inhaled oxygen as opposed to air.

Globally, more than 30 million people have heart attacks every year, according to the World Health Organisation. Heart attacks occur when the flow of oxygenated blood to the heart is interrupted. Heart attack patients are often given oxygen to try to improve oxygenation of the heart tissue. However, there is little evidence that this intervention improves outcomes for heart patients and some evidence even suggests it may cause further damage.

Reference

* Emphysema
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ScienceDaily (June 16, 2010)
Although the results appear to suggest giving oxygen could do more harm than good, the researchers say there is not yet enough data to be certain. “This result does not necessarily mean that giving oxygen increases the risk of dying from a heart attack,” said hDr Amanda Burls of the Department of Primary Health Care at the University of Oxford in Oxford, UK. “The numbers are so small that this may just have been due to chance.”

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