The use of an inspiratory oxygen fraction of 0.80 during surgery is a topic of ongoing debate. Opponents claim that increased oxidative stress, atelectasis, and impaired oxygen delivery due to hyperoxic vasoconstriction are detrimental. Proponents point to the beneficial effects on the incidence of surgical site infections and postoperative nausea and vomiting. Also, hyperoxygenation is thought to extend the safety margin in case of acute intraoperative emergencies. This review provides a comprehensive risk-benefit analysis for the use of perioperative hyperoxia in noncritically ill adults based on clinical evidence and supported by physiological deduction where needed. Data from the field of hyperbaric medicine, as a model of extreme hyperoxygenation, are extrapolated to the perioperative setting. We ultimately conclude that current evidence is in favour of hyperoxia in noncritically ill intubated adult surgical patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number642
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2020


  • Hyperbaric oxygenation
  • Hyperoxia
  • Oxygen toxicity
  • Perioperative care
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Surgical wound infection

Cite this