Conservative oxygen therapy in mechanically ventilated patients: a pilot before-and-after trial

Satoshi Suzuki, Glenn M Eastwood, Neil John Glassford, Leah Peck, Helen Young, Mercedes Garcia-Alvarez, Antoine Schneider, Rinaldo Bellomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To assess the feasibility and safety of a conservative approach to oxygen therapy in mechanically ventilated ICU patients. DESIGN: Pilot prospective before-and-after study. SETTING: A 22-bed multidisciplinary ICU of a tertiary care hospital in Australia. PATIENTS: A total of 105 adult (18 years old or older) patients required mechanical ventilation for more than 48 hours: 51 patients during the conventional before period and 54 after a change to conservative oxygen therapy. INTERVENTIONS: Implementation of a conservative approach to oxygen therapy (target SpO2 of 90-92 ). MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We collected 3,169 datasets on 799 mechanical ventilation days. During conservative oxygen therapy the median time-weighted average SpO2 on mechanical ventilation was 95.5 (interquartile range, 94.0-97.3) versus 98.4 (97.3-99.1) (p <0.001) during conventional therapy. The median PaO2 was 83 torr (71-94) versus 107 torr (94-131) (p <0.001) with a change to a median FIO2 of 0.27 (0.24-0.30) versus 0.40 (0.35-0.44) (p <0.001). Conservative oxygen therapy decreased the median total amount of oxygen delivered during mechanical ventilation by about two thirds (15,580 L [8,263-29,351 L] vs 5,122 L [1,837-10,499 L]; p <0.001). The evolution of the PaO2/FIO 2 ratio was similar during the two periods, and there were no difference in any other biochemical or clinical outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Conservative oxygen therapy in mechanically ventilated ICU patients was feasible and free of adverse biochemical, physiological, or clinical outcomes while allowing a marked decrease in excess oxygen exposure. Our study supports the safety and feasibility of future pilot randomized controlled trials of conventional compared with conservative oxygen therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1414-1422
Number of pages9
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this