Oxygen toxicity

Paediatr Respir Rev. 2014 Jun;15(2):120-3. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2014.03.003. Epub 2014 Mar 26.


Oxygen is one of the most widely available and used therapeutic agents in the world. However, it is all too easy forget that oxygen is a prescribable drug with specific biochemical and physiologic actions, a distinct range of effective doses and well-defined adverse effects at high doses. The human body is affected in different ways depending on the type of exposure. Short exposures to high partial pressures at greater than atmospheric pressure lead to central nervous system toxicity, most commonly seen in divers or in hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Pulmonary and ocular toxicity results from longer exposure to elevated oxygen levels at normal atmospheric pressure.

Keywords: CNS; Hyperoxia; Oxygen; Pulmonary; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / adverse effects*
  • Lung Diseases / chemically induced
  • Oxygen / toxicity*


  • Oxygen