Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Is Associated With Lower Short- and Long-Term Mortality in Patients With Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Chest. 2017 Nov;152(5):943-953. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2017.03.049. Epub 2017 Apr 17.


Background: To date, there has been no consensus about the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) on the mortality of patients with carbon monoxide poisoning (COP). This retrospective nationwide population-based cohort study from Taiwan was conducted to clarify this issue.

Methods: Using the Nationwide Poisoning Database, we identified 25,737 patients with COP diagnosed between 1999 and 2012, including 7,278 patients who received HBOT and 18,459 patients who did not. The mortality risks of the two cohorts were compared, including overall mortality, and stratified analyses by age, sex, underlying comorbidities, monthly income, suicide attempt, drug poisoning, acute respiratory failure, and follow-up until 2013 were conducted. We also tried to identify independent mortality predictors and evaluated their effects.

Results: Patients who received HBOT had a lower mortality rate compared with patients who did not (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 0.74; 95% CI, 0.67-0.81) after adjusting for age, sex, underlying comorbidities, monthly income, and concomitant conditions, especially in patients younger than 20 years (AHR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.26-0.80) and those with acute respiratory failure (AHR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.35-0.53). The lower mortality rate was noted for a period of 4 years after treatment of the COP. Patients who received two or more sessions of HBOT had a lower mortality rate than did those who received HBOT only once. Older age, male sex, low monthly income, diabetes, malignancy, stroke, alcoholism, mental disorders, suicide attempts, and acute respiratory failure were also independent mortality predictors.

Conclusions: HBOT was associated with a lower mortality rate in patients with COP, especially in those who were younger than 20 years and those with acute respiratory failure. The results provide important references for decision-making in the treatment of COP.

Keywords: carbon monoxide poisoning; hyperbaric oxygen therapy; mortality.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning / mortality
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult