Oxygen may not help heart attack victims (Dr. Dion Stub)

Strapping an oxygen mask to someone suffering a heart attack might make their heart attack worse, new research suggests.

Heart attack victims treated with oxygen endured 25 to 30 percent more heart damage than patients not given oxygen, said lead investigator Dr. Dion Stub, an interventional cardiologist at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, Canada.

“This study backs up previous research that shows oxygen should be treated as a drug, and prescribed appropriately,” said Stub, who's also a researcher at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia. “If a heart attack patient's oxygen levels are normal, you should not give them oxygen.”

Dennis Thompson reports

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