The standard practice of giving oxygen to patients of heart attack was criticized by Professor Richard Beasley from Medical Research Institute of New Zealand. According to him, this practice is likely to bring more harm to the patients than good.
While writing about this issue in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, professor Beasley averred that this practice could decrease the blood flow to the heart and harm it in many ways.
But the British Heart Foundation had a different view on this. They felt that the practice of giving oxygen to heart attack victims is the best prevailing procedure. This is especially useful in patients who develop hypoxaemia, a condition where the oxygen level in blood is very low. This condition is countered by giving extra oxygen via face mask. But in general, all cardiac patients are given oxygen irrespective of their need of the same.
Professor Beasley drew attention to the fact that a controlled trial of oxygen treatment in the first 24 hrs after the heart attack was done way back in 1976. This trial indicated that patients receiving oxygen suffered more than their counterparts who received room air. He also highlighted the finding from a 2005 study which stated that blood flow through the coronary artery was reduced in patients who were subjected to high flow oxygen.