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April 1968


Arch Ophthalmol. 1968;79(4):507. doi:10.1001/archopht.1968.03850040509029

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To the Editor.  —Dr. Fortier's letter raises the question of combining carbon dioxide with oxygen therapy for the premature infant.Blood gas determinations on infants with pulmonary defects, especially those with the "respiratory distress syndrome," document the severe oxygen deprivation and their need for oxygen therapy. These infants also frequently show increased retention of carbon dioxide. It is the awareness of the possible carbon dioxide retention in these infants that had led pediatricians away from the older regimen of routinely adding carbon dioxide to the incubator environment.Doctor Frotier's suggestion of adding carbon dioxide to oxygen therapy raises the logical question, can carbon dioxide, a potent vasodilator, counteract the severe oxygen-induced retinal vasospasm in the premature retina? When a mixture of carbon dioxide and oxygen is administered to the adult, the retinal vessels usually dilate. However, in the immature animal retina when carbon dioxide is combined with oxygen, we found,

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