It's a scenario straight out of Gray's Anatomy a paramedic or doctor plops a mask over the face of a person struggling to breathe and begins dispensing pure oxygen.Yet growing research suggests that inhaling straight oxygen can actually harm the brain. For the first time, a new UCLA brain-imaging study reveals why. Published in the May 22 edition of Public Library of Science (PLoS) Medicine, the findings fly in the face of national guidelines for medical practice and recommend a new approach that adds carbon dioxide to the mix to preserve brain function in patients.
The researchers strongly encourage healthcare providers to add carbon dioxide to oxygen dispensation, especially when resuscitating infants or administering oxygen for more than a few minutes.
When in doubt about a case, the current medical approach is to increase oxygen levels and wait to see if the patient improves.
Earlier data on high oxygen's harmful effects have already resulted in policy changes overseas.Instead of using straight oxygen, many European hospitals now resuscitate patients with room air, which contains a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide; or with a blend of oxygen and carbon dioxide.....