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Oxygen therapy is one of the most ubiquitously applied therapies in modern medicine. Clinicians usually react rapidly to declining oxygen saturations. Although this response is appropriate in the setting of hypoxia, there are many circumstances in which excess oxygen is indiscriminately administered for extended periods.
Medicine has recently experienced a shift from “more is better” to “less is more” as more has been learned about the ability of the human body to adapt to extreme physiological conditions and about the inappropriate use of various therapies. Examples include hemoglobin thresholds and carbon dioxide levels. Attention in recent years has focused on the potential harms associated with excess oxygen therapy.
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Munshi L, Ferguson ND. Evolving Issues in Oxygen Therapy in Acute Care Medicine. JAMA. 2020;323(7):607–608. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.22029
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