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[Comment] Excess oxygen in acute illness: adding fuel to the fire

Oxygen is essential for life and is the third most abundant element in the universe. This abundance is evident in the treatment of acutely ill adults admitted to intensive and progressive care units around the world, in whom excess oxygen is frequently provided for inhalation. The typical motivation for liberal oxygen administration is the prevention of hypoxaemia. By contrast, few health-care providers are concerned about hyperoxaemia—ie, highly elevated arterial oxygen concentrations (arterial oxygen tension >100 mm Hg).

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