I read with interest the article by Tenenhaus et al1 in the December 1994 issue of the Archives about the effects of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) administration on bacterial translocation in a murine burn model. Their results appear to focus on bacterial translocation only, ignoring the effects of increased oxygen administration on survival. The effects of increased oxygen delivery on specific tissues is interesting for its ability to provide insight into the mechanisms of bacterial spread after a major burn. However, the results of such a manipulation must be evaluated in the context of the overall mortality rate. These results (as shown in Table 1 of their article1) suggest an additional conclusion from this study. Animals that underwent administration of HBO had a significant mortality rate. In contrast, none of the non–HBO-treated animals died. These results are similar to those found in a different murine model of serious trauma,
Garner WL. Treatment of Burned Mice With Hyperbaric Oxygen Reduces Mesenteric Bacteria but Not Pulmonary Neutrophil Deposition. Arch Surg. 1995;130(5):560. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1995.01430050110021
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