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Postgraduate Education Corner: Contemporary Reviews in Critical Care Medicine |

Balancing the Risks and Benefits of Oxygen Therapy in Critically III AdultsOxygen Therapy in Intensive Care Unit

G. R. Scott Budinger, MD; Gökhan M. Mutlu, MD
Author and Funding Information

From the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL.

Correspondence to: G. R. Scott Budinger, MD, 240 E Huron St, McGaw M300, Chicago, IL 60611; e-mail: s-buding@northwestern.edu


Funding/Support: This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health [Grants ES015024, ES013995, HL071643, and HL092963]; The Northwestern Memorial Foundation Dixon Awards; and The Veterans Administration.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2013;143(4):1151-1162. doi:10.1378/chest.12-1215
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Oxygen therapy is an integral part of the treatment of critically ill patients. Maintenance of adequate oxygen delivery to vital organs often requires the administration of supplemental oxygen, sometimes at high concentrations. Although oxygen therapy is lifesaving, it may be associated with deleterious effects when administered for prolonged periods at high concentrations. Here, we review the recent advances in our understanding of the molecular responses to hypoxia and high levels of oxygen and review the current guidelines for oxygen therapy in critically ill patients.

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