Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that a “conservative” oxygen therapy regimen for patients receiving ICU mechanical ventilation did not result in worse outcomes compared to normal oxygen therapy.
One thousand adult patients in the ICU requiring mechanical ventilation were randomly assigned to receive conservative or usual oxygen therapy. Researchers established “conservative” O2 by setting SpO2 maximum at 97% and reducing the patient’s FiO2 to 0.21 if the SpO2 stayed above the acceptable lower limit of 90%.

According to results, conservative oxygen therapy did not significantly affect the number of ventilator-free days and had a comparable mortality rate to usual O2 therapy (35.7% vs 34.5% respectively).

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