Oxygen damaging to heart attack victims: study (Dr. Dion Stub)

The century-old practice of giving oxygen to heart attack patients may do more harm than good, suggests new international research led by a Vancouver-based cardiologist.

The findings, presented this week at the annual American Heart Association conference in Chicago, are likely to change international guidelines for emergency treatment of heart attack victims.

“For 100 years, we’ve fairly indiscriminately given people oxygen when they have heart attack symptoms … really thinking that it may be helpful,” said the study’s lead investigator Dr. Dion Stub, an Australian cardiologist currently working as an interventional cardiac fellow at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Thandi Fletcher reports

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