and a documentation of patient-harming frauds in medical research
Preemies gasping for breath
are denied the breathing help they need
2.8. The futile oxygen monitoring continues
The oxygen starvation routine continues despite these deadly outcomes, despite its lack of an effect on the blinding, and despite the fact that many other studies have also shown there is no scientifically defensible reason for it.
The 1953/54 Cooperative Study had only recorded the percentage of oxygen in the breathing mix but not how this translated into blood oxygenation for the baby. When actual measurements of arterial oxygen tensions became possible, these were incorrectly assumed to be an indicator of the retinal oxygenation.
However, it had been known since 1924 that the retina has the highest rate of oxygen consumption among all the body tissues and can autoregulate the blood flow in response to changes in oxygen concentrations85. This autoregulation makes the amounts of oxygen that reach the retina independent of the arterial oxygen tension, and trying to extract the former out of the latter is thus as useless as trying to drag the reflection of the moon out of the water.
Despite this known impossibility, another major cooperative trial was launched in 1969 to explore the alleged relationship between blood oxygen levels and ROP risk86. Dr. Silverman described the results in his above-mentioned book:
Others concurred that this trial had failed to show any correlation between arterial oxygen concentrations and the development of ROP88. And as mentioned above, the oxygen monitoring study in Miami had yielded the same result.
Yet, the National Eye Institute awarded in June 1993 the initial funding89, 90 for another study how arterial oxygen tensions relate to ROP. This $1.2 million, three-year multi-hospital trial is called Supplemental Oxygen for Prethreshold Retinopathy of Prematurity, or STOP-ROP.
In an apparent retreat from the current pediatric teaching about oxygen, this study is based on the suggestion that medical management of oxygen further aggravates the development of ROP91. This suggestion was first proposed in 195192, shortly before oxygen fell in disgrace: that ROP might get worse from low oxygen levels and should be treated by slightly raising the arterial concentrations of oxygen as compared with the standard rationing93.
Although this could be considered a step in the right direction, the increase in arterial oxygen will be so small (from the typical 45-85 mm Hg to a partially overlapping 64-109 mm Hg94, versus the about 200-275 mm Hg95 customary before 1954), and it will be administered so late (only once ROP begins to develop, several weeks after birth), that the damage from early oxygen withholding will not be lessened. This new study will thus be just as wasted as its predecessors and achieve no benefit for the babies.
The uselessness of trying to control the preemies' arterial oxygen is well known among physicians. At a 1988 symposium about ROP, Dr. Sally Zierler, an epidemiologist at Brown University, had dissected the lingering unscientific belief in oxygen as the initiator of the disease:
Dr. Lucey, the editor of Pediatrics, admitted at the same Symposium essentially the same thing:
To put this "absolute futility" of trying to describe a useful blood oxygen level in perspective, please keep in mind that oxygen control is one of the major functions of an intensive care nursery, and that about one third of the expenses in an intensive care nursery goes typically for oxygen management and measuring98.
In 1992, the Wall Street Journal gave the annual cost of intensive care nurseries in America as about 5.6 billion dollars99; almost two of those billions may thus pay for this absolute futility.
If this seems in line with other modern medical wastes of money, then consider the costs to the victims and their families. Many thousands of babies still die or suffer brain damage each year from the oxygen rationing based on this futility. In addition to suffering the permanent damage so casually inflicted on their body and/or brain, many of the survivors will need help for all their lives. So, in each of the years that this long acknowledged but still uncorrected error in the medical doctrine continues to harm preemies, its victims accrue many more billions in dollars in future costs for the life-long care they will require because of this absolute futility.
Continue to an update and sequel about the frauds in preemie studies.
Contact us at recoveredscience.com