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July 22, 1950

MENTAL CHANGES OCCURRING IN CHRONICALLY ANOXEMIC PATIENTS DURING OXYGEN THERAPY

Author Affiliations

Philadelphia

Research fellow of the American Academy of Allergy (Dr. Bahnson).; From the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

JAMA. 1950;143(12):1044-1048. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910470004002
Abstract

Several reports have now appeared indicating that undesirable reactions may follow the administration of oxygen to patients with chronic anoxemia. Barach1 noted that patients with chronic anoxemia may become irrational, stuporous or comatose when given 50 to 100 per cent oxygen to breathe; in his experience their mental state returned to normal and none of the patients died even though inhalation of oxygen was continued. Godfrey, Pond and Wood2 studied an emphysematous patient who became deeply comatose within five minutes after the initiation of oxygen therapy (90 to 97 per cent) and regained consciousness with equal rapidity when the oxygen was removed. Davies and Mackinnon3 reported on 2 patients with cor pulmonale who showed neurologic changes during inhalation of oxygen. In the first there developed uncontrollable myoclonic movements of his arms, which disappeared when he breathed air; the second became comatose within two hours and died within

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