Clinical Outcomes and Mortality Impact of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Patients With Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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Carbon monoxide poisoning affects 50,000 per year in the United States alone. Mortality is approximately 3%, and up to 40% of survivors suffer from permanent neurocognitive and affective deficits. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has shown benefit on reducing the long-term neurologic sequelae of carbon monoxide poisoning but has not demonstrated improved survival. The objective of this study is to assess the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen for acute and long-term mortality in carbon monoxide poisoning using a large clinical databank.


Retrospective analysis.


University of Pittsburgh Medical Center healthcare system (Pittsburgh, PA).


One-thousand ninety-nine unique encounters of adult patients with carbon monoxide poisoning.



Measurements and Main Results:

Baseline demographics, laboratory values, hospital charge transactions, discharge disposition, and clinical information from charting were obtained from the electronic medical record. In propensity-adjusted analysis, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was associated with a reduction in inpatient mortality (absolute risk reduction, 2.1% [3.7–0.9%]; p = 0.001) and a reduction in 1-year mortality (absolute risk reduction, 2.1% [3.8–0.4%]; p = 0.013).


These data demonstrate that hyperbaric oxygen is associated with reduced acute and reduced 1-year mortality. Further studies are needed on the mortality effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in carbon monoxide poisoning.

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