Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Heart attack: Could giving oxygen be doing more harm than good?

Date:
June 16, 2010
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
There is no evidence that the common practice of giving patients oxygen to inhale during a heart attack is beneficial, according to a new review by researchers. Until further research is carried out, the researchers say the possibility that giving oxygen may actually increase a patient's risk of dying cannot be ruled out.

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

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.

The researchers included data from three trials in their studies. Patients were either given pure oxygen or air to inhale in the 24 hours following the onset of heart attack symptoms. 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.

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 Dr 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."

However, said Prof Tom Quinn, another of the researchers based at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK, it is important to resolve the uncertainty. "Given the fact that this is such a widely used treatment, we think it is important that a large trial is conducted as soon as possible to make sure that giving oxygen is not causing any harm."

Another member of the team, Dr. Juan Cabello of the Alicante General University Hospital in Alicante, Spain, added, "It is truly amazing how we, as cardiologists, have been employing this treatment without solid evidence."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cabello JB, Burls A, Emparanza JI, Bayliss S, Quinn T. Oxygen therapy for acute myocardial infarction. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2010, Issue 6. Art. No.: CD007160 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007160.pub2

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Heart attack: Could giving oxygen be doing more harm than good?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100615191651.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2010, June 16). Heart attack: Could giving oxygen be doing more harm than good?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100615191651.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Heart attack: Could giving oxygen be doing more harm than good?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100615191651.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins