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Randomized trial of oxygen weaning strategies following chest compressions during neonatal resuscitation.



The Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) recommends using 100% O2 during chest compressions and adjusting FiO2 based on SpO2 after return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). The optimal strategy for adjusting FiO2 is not known.


Twenty-five near-term lambs asphyxiated by umbilical cord occlusion to cardiac arrest were resuscitated per NRP. Following ROSC, lambs were randomized to gradual decrease versus abrupt wean to 21% O2 followed by FiO2 titration to achieve NRP SpO2 targets. Carotid blood flow and blood gases were monitored.


Three minutes after ROSC, PaO2 was 229 ± 32 mmHg in gradual wean group compared to 57 ± 13 following abrupt wean to 21% O2 (p < 0.001). PaO2 remained high in the gradual wean group at 10 min after ROSC (110 ± 10 vs. 67 ± 12, p < 0.01) despite similar FiO2 (~0.3) in both groups. Cerebral O2 delivery (C-DO2) was higher above physiological range following ROSC with gradual wean (p < 0.05). Lower blood oxidized/reduced glutathione ratio (suggesting less oxidative stress) was observed with abrupt wean.


Weaning FiO2 abruptly to 0.21 with adjustment based on SpO2 prevents surge in PaO2 and C-DO2 and minimizes oxidative stress compared to gradual weaning from 100% O2 following ROSC. Clinical trials with neurodevelopmental outcomes comparing post-ROSC FiO2 weaning strategies are warranted.


In a lamb model of perinatal asphyxial cardiac arrest, abrupt weaning of inspired oxygen to 21% prevents excessive oxygen delivery to the brain and oxidative stress compared to gradual weaning from 100% oxygen following return of spontaneous circulation. Clinical studies assessing neurodevelopmental outcomes comparing abrupt and gradual weaning of inspired oxygen after recovery from neonatal asphyxial arrest are warranted.

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