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Crit Care. 2013 Oct 16;17(5):197. doi: 10.1186/cc13065.

Eubaric hyperoxia: controversies in the management of acute traumatic brain injury.


Controversy exists on the role of hyperoxia in major trauma with brain injury. Hyperoxia on arterial blood gas has been associated with acute lung injury and pulmonary complications, impacting clinical outcome. The hyperoxia could be reflective of the physiological interventions following major systemic trauma. Despite the standard resuscitation of patients with acute traumatic brain injury, up to 60% demonstrate low brain oxygen upon admission to the ICU. While eubaric hyperoxia has been beneficial in experimental studies, clinical brain oxygen protocols incorporating intracranial pressure control, maintenance of cerebral perfusion pressure, and the effective use of fraction of inspired oxygen adjustments to maintain cerebral oxygenation levels >20 to 25 mmHg have demonstrated mortality reductions and improved clinical outcomes. The risk of low brain oxygen is most acute in the first 24 to 48 hours after injury. The administration of a high fraction of inspired oxygen (0.6 to 1.0) in the emergency room may be justifiable until ICU admission for the placement of invasive neurocritical care monitoring systems. Thereafter, fraction of inspired oxygen levels need to be careful titrated to prevent low brain oxygen levels.

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