Methodology: 4/5          
Usefulness: 3/5

Schjørring OL, et al. N Engl J Med. 2021 Apr 8;384(14):1301-1311. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2032510. 

Question and Methods: Can a lower PaO2 target (i.e., 60mmHg) compared to higher PaO2 target (i.e., 90mmHg) decrease all cause 90 day mortality by more than 5% in patient with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure requiring >10L of O2?
Findings:  At 90 days, all-cause mortality between the high and low PaO2 target groups was not statistically different (42.4% and 42.9%, respectively) (RR: 1.02; 95% CI 0.94 – 1.11; P=0.64).
Limitations:  Major limitations included not meeting the lower PaO2 target and no standard ABG protocol.

Interpretation: It is reasonable to target lower SpO2 (90-96%) for patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure requiring oxygenation.

By: Dr. Tetyana Maniuk


  • Hans Rosenberg

    Dr. Rosenberg is an emergency physician at the Ottawa Hospital, assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, and Director of the Digital Scholarship and Knowledge Dissemination Program.