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July 9, 1982

Hyperbaric Oxygen for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning-Reply

Author Affiliations

Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems Baltimore

JAMA. 1982;248(2):172-173. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330020018017

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In Reply.—  Drs Becker and Olson, in their comments on our article, are correct in pointing out the need for more data. The prognosis for the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning is unclear after both conventional and hyperbaric therapy. The unquestioned reduction of time required for the elimination of carbon monoxide from the poisoned victim with hyperbaric oxygenation as compared with conventional therapy and the consequent shorter exposure to the toxic effects of carbon monoxide if hyperbaric therapy is employed may not necessarily lead to better outcomes in the survivors. The situation may be analogous to the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in victims of cardiac arrest. The treatment may save persons who might otherwise have died but it may also result in an increased number of survivors with severe residual effects. Further research is indicated.Our article, however, was an attempt to define an interesting class of smoke victims who