Impact of Permissive Hypoxia and Hyperoxia Avoidance on Clinical Outcomes in Septic Patients Receiving Mechanical Ventilation: A Retrospective Single-Center Study

Biomed Res Int. 2021 Oct 14:2021:7332027. doi: 10.1155/2021/7332027. eCollection 2021.


Background: Septic patients often require mechanical ventilation due to respiratory dysfunction, and effective ventilatory strategies can improve survival. The effects of the combination of permissive hypoxia and hyperoxia avoidance for managing mechanically ventilated patients are unknown. This study examines these effects on outcomes in mechanically ventilated septic patients.

Methods: In a retrospective before-and-after study, we examined adult septic patients (aged ≥18 years) requiring mechanical ventilation at a university hospital. On April 1, 2017, our mechanical ventilation policy changed from a conventional oxygenation target (SpO2: ≥96%) to more conservative targets with permissive hypoxia (SpO2: 88-92% or PaO2: 60 mmHg) and hyperoxia avoidance (reduced oxygenation for PaO2 > 110 mmHg). Patients were divided into a prechange group (April 2015 to March 2017; n = 83) and a postchange group (April 2017 to March 2019; n = 130). Data were extracted from clinical records and insurance claims. Using a multiple logistic regression model, we examined the association of the postchange group (permissive hypoxia and hyperoxia avoidance) with intensive care unit (ICU) mortality after adjusting for variables such as Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score and PaO2/FiO2 ratios.

Results: The postchange group did not have significantly lower adjusted ICU mortality (0.67, 0.33-1.43; P = 0.31) relative to the prechange group. However, there were significant intergroup differences in mechanical ventilation duration (prechange: 11.0 days, postchange: 7.0 days; P = 0.01) and ICU stay (prechange: 11.0 days, postchange: 9.0 days; P = 0.02).

Conclusions: Permissive hypoxia and hyperoxia avoidance had no significant association with reduced ICU mortality in mechanically ventilated septic patients. However, this approach was significantly associated with shorter mechanical ventilation duration and ICU stay, which can improve patient turnover and ventilator access.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology*
  • Hypoxia / therapy
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Male
  • Organ Dysfunction Scores
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis / physiopathology
  • Sepsis / therapy*


  • Oxygen