Does oxygen delivery matter?
Summary by: John Myburgh
For the 30 years, clinical understanding of haemodynamic resuscitation has been based on physiological paradigms that focus on convective oxygen delivery. Most of these emphasise the role of cardiac output, haemoglobin and recommend interventions using synthetic agents such as dobutamine, synthetic colloids and blood transfusions. Markedly influenced by industry, these interventions and strategies hijacked critical thinking creating a belief in the utiliity of attaining short-term physiological surrogates for resuscitation that have little relevance in improving patient-centred outcomes. This ‘physiological fallacy’ has been demonstrated in high-quality RCTs of fluids, goal-directed therapy and catecholamines, that paradoxically inform the interpretation of new insights in the physiological basis of health and disease.