In the new study, nearly eight percent of patients in the ambient-air group ended up getting supplemental oxygen because they developed hypoxemia, often because of circulatory or respiratory failure.
“It is reasonable to conclude that oxygen should only be given to patients who are hypoxemic,” said Dr. Hofmann. “Nevertheless, constant vigilance remains essential to be ready to supply oxygen if hypoxemia develops.”
Over the shorter term, “no significant difference between the two groups was detected at 30 days with regard to death, re-hospitalization with myocardial infarction, or the composite of these two endpoints,” the researchers said.
“I believe guidelines in Europe and most certainly in Sweden will change soon,” Dr. Hofmann said. “Concerning the U.S., it is more difficult to say. It seems that has become a bit more unpredictable how scientific facts are implemented, but I hope that we can supply enough good data for the decision makers to consider for the benefit of ALL of the American people.”