The century-old practice of giving oxygen to a heart attack patient could be causing more harm than good, with a study showing patients may suffer a 20 per cent increase in damage to heart tissue if given oxygen.
A study of 411 patients treated by Ambulance Victoria MICA (Mobile Intensive Care Ambulance) paramedics found that routinely providing oxygen to someone having a heart attack was of no benefit and, in some cases, could cause further damage to the heart muscle.
The study of MRI scans showed an increase in heart damage after six months for patients given oxygen.
The results were released overnight at the American Heart Association conference in Chicago, which was one of the world’s leading medical conferences.
For more than 100 years, doctors and nurses have routinely administered oxygen to patients who are having a heart attack.
Co-researcher and Ambulance Victoria paramedic Ziad Nehme said the belief was that the oxygen would reach damaged heart tissue and lead to smaller heart attacks. Continue reading Ambulance Victoria in Australia study questions practice of giving oxygen to heart attack patients