Oxygen worsens heart attack outcomes

Giving oxygen to heart attack patients may do more harm than good, a Victorian study suggests.

Paramedics with Ambulance Victoria said oxygen was commonly given to patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction despite studies suggesting a possible increase in myocardial injury due to coronary vasoconstriction and heightened oxidative stress.

In a prospective study, they randomised 440 STEMI patients diagnosed on paramedic 12-lead ECG to be given oxygen or normal air.