What is risk?BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7036 (Published 23 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7036
- Philip Sedgwick, reader in medical statistics and medical education
- 1Centre for Medical and Healthcare Education, St George’s, University of London, Tooting, London, UK
Titrated oxygen was compared with the standard treatment of high flow oxygen for patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the pre-hospital setting. A cluster, randomised controlled, parallel group trial was performed. In total, 405 patients with a presumed acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that had been treated by paramedics and who had been transported and admitted to hospital were included. A total of 226 patients were randomised to high flow oxygen and 179 to titrated oxygen. The main outcome measure was mortality, either pre-hospital or in-hospital mortality.1
The risk of mortality in patients randomised to titrated oxygen treatment was less than that in the patients randomised to high flow oxygen (seven deaths (3.9% of patients) versus 21 deaths (9.3%)). The researchers concluded that titrated oxygen treatment significantly reduced mortality in comparison with high flow oxygen in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (relative risk 0.42 (95% confidence interval 0.2 to 0.89; P=0.02)).
Which of the following statements, if any, are true?
a) The …