Setting intraoperative fraction of inspired oxygen

Ricard Mellado Artigas, Marina Soro, Carlos Ferrando


Each year, millions of patients undergo surgery under general anaesthesia. Oxygen, the most ubiquitous drug used in the operative setting, is often titrated to the anaesthesiologist preference. The choice of a high inspired fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) is commonplace. Safety criteria along with a debatable effect on a decrease in surgical site infection (SSI) are the potential reasons to justify a high FiO2 usage. Based on the latter, several organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have issued recommendations to keep high FiO2 during surgery and the immediate postoperative period. In this article, we will review the evidence behind these beneficial effects and several potential side effects of a high FiO2 intraoperative strategy.