Your Health: Jan. 31, 2000

GOOD NEWS

AIR ON THE SAFE SIDE Surgery may have just got safer. Doctors have discovered that simply adding more oxygen to the mix of gases patients breathe while they're under the knife can cut in half the incidence of wound infection--a serious complication that can prolong hospital stays and even result in death. Among other things, the added oxygen helps white blood cells fight off bacteria. The news comes just three months after the same researchers found that upping oxygen also halves the rate of postoperative vomiting and nausea. The cost of oxygen? Less than 3[cents] a patient.

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