What is the role of supplemental oxygen in the treatment of systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)?

Updated: May 07, 2018
  • Author: Lewis J Kaplan, MD, FACS, FCCM, FCCP; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Supplemental oxygen should be provided to any patient who demonstrates an increased oxygen requirement or decreased oxygen availability. Oxygen can be provided via nasal cannula or mask, although in certain situations, ventilator support may be required to maximize oxygen delivery.

Supplying supraphysiologic oxygen has shown mixed results in a multitude of studies. Providing too much oxygen in a patient with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should be avoided because it can depress the respiratory drive.

Patients who do not respond to increased oxygen supply have a poor prognosis. Patients with associated respiratory failure who require mechanical ventilation should be treated with low tidal volume mechanical ventilation (6 mL/kg).

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