Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Oxygen therapy in acute resuscitation

Frei, Daniel R.a; Young, Paul J.b,c

Current Opinion in Critical Care: December 2018 - Volume 24 - Issue 6 - p 506–511
doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000549

Purpose of review Avoidance and treatment of hypoxaemia is a cornerstone of acute resuscitation and yet the optimal approach to oxygen therapy in the acute care setting is uncertain. The aim of this review is to appraise recent evidence relating to the provision of supplemental oxygen to adult patients with acute illnesses with a focus on the resuscitation phase.

Recent findings Recent findings generally support the notion that exposure to hyperoxaemia is associated with adverse outcomes in acutely ill adults with a range of diseases and raise the possibility that liberal provision of oxygen may cause harm. Several ongoing multicentre randomized trials aim to assess the effects of different oxygen therapy regimens on patient outcomes to provide a foundation for evidence-based recommendations regarding the use of supplemental oxygen in Intensive Care Unit patients.

Summary At present, evidence is lacking to support routine liberal oxygen administration in acutely ill patients and, in most circumstances, a reasonable approach is to titrate supplemental oxygen to achieve an arterial oxygen saturation measured by pulse oximetry (SpO2) of 92–96% with the aim of avoiding both hypoxaemia and hyperoxaemia.

aDepartment of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine

bIntensive Care Unit, Wellington Hospital

cMedical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand

Correspondence to Paul J. Young, BSc (Hons), MBChB, PhD, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Private Bag 7902, Wellington 6242, New Zealand. Tel: +64 48050147, fax: +64 443895707; e-mail:

Copyright © 2018 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.