Routine Oxygen Administration in Heart Attack Victims, Challenged

by Ann Samuel on  March 5, 2007 at 1:26 PM Research News   - G J E 4
Routine Oxygen Administration  in Heart Attack Victims, Challenged
Oxygen is Nature's gift to man and indispensable, yet says a doctor, when administered without need, in a clinical situation to a person recovering from a heart attack, it does more harm than good.

It has been routine practice in most hospitals to give oxygen to patients via a facemask, in order to reduce the workload on a heart after it suffers an attack. Yet the New Zealand researcher, Professor Richard Beasley, from New Zealand's Medical Research Institute says it's high time this 'clinical dogma ' was challenged.

Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Beasely said that unnecessary pumping of oxygen actually reduces blood flow and damages the heart.

He supports his statements with actually, lack of supporting evidence, for the practice.

Beasely says that the only controlled trial with oxygen therapy was in 1976, and it was recorded that the patient ended up in a worsened state than before.

He also added that there was a 2005 recorded study, that giving high-flow oxygen to patients after a heart attack only served to reduce blood flow through the coronary artery.

Says Beasley, "Oxygen therapy should only be given if the oxygen level is significantly reduced, which is uncommon in the situation of a heart attack. We need to challenge clinical dogma because the routine use of oxygen in myocardial infarction is not supported by the evidence."

Yet, the British Heart Foundation,(BHF), refuses to accept the recommendation saying that there is documented evidence that heart attack victims suffer from hypoxemia or low oxygen level and need to be administered oxygen.

Says Cathy Ross, cardiac nurse at the BHF: "The current practice of giving high-flow oxygen is an important part of heart attack treatment. Best practice methods have been developed and refined over the years to ensure the best possible outcome for patients."

Source: Medindia

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