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Hydrogen for Surgery & ICU

Published on January 29, 2018

Medical gas is critical to the function of hospitals and many other healthcare facilities. Medical gas systems in hospitals are, in a word, lifesaving. Piped in oxygen, nitrous oxide, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and medical air to hospital areas such as patient rooms, recovery areas, operating rooms, and ICU departments is critical to the survival of patients and now hydrogen needs to be added to the list.

It is imperative that hospitals get on the program with hydrogen because it is a perfect and safe substance to put out the fires of oxidative stress. Evidence of massive oxidative stress is well established in adult critical illnesses characterized by tissue ischemia–reperfusion injury and by an intense systemic inflammatory response such as during sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Oxidative stress exacerbates organ injury and thus overall clinical outcome.[1] Oxygen-derived free radicals play an important role in the development of disease in critically ill patients.

“Critically ill patients suffer from oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). Although ROS/RNS are constantly produced under normal circumstances, critical illness can drastically increase their production. These patients have reduced plasma and intracellular levels of antioxidants and free electron scavengers or cofactors, and decreased activity of the enzymatic system involved in ROS detoxification. The pro-oxidant/antioxidant balance is of functional relevance during critical illness because it is involved in the pathogenesis of multiple organ failure.”[2] Hydrogen is the gas that directly and immediately addresses critical conditions resulting from massive oxidative stress.

Various studies have suggested therapeutic effects of hydrogen gas in relation to various aspects of emergency and critical care medicine, including acute myocardial infarction, cardiopulmonary arrest syndrome, contrast-induced acute kidney injury, and hemorrhagic shock.

This is an emergency room / ICU / Operation room hydrogen machine. Gas Production Rate: Hydrogen /Oxygen: 3000ml~6000ml/min. Hospitals and the FDA officials might not know it yet but in China they are already producing hydrogen machines perfected to the climate of ICU and operating rooms. Hospitals can afford the 30,000 dollar estimated price and the absolute control gained over the combined gases but vastly less costly units will flood the body equally well with hydrogen.

Hydrogen works fast because of its small size and neutral footprint. “Inhalation of 1–4% hydrogen gas alleviated tissue damage and reduces infarct size. The blood and tissue levels of hydrogen reach saturation within 2 or 3 min after commencing inhalation of hydrogen gas. The gaseous hydrogen level in the blood reaches 16 μmol/L after inhalation of 2% hydrogen gas. Arterial oxygen saturation is not affected because gaseous hydrogen does not bind with hemoglobin, and the blood pressure and pulse rate are also unaffected under steady state condition. The blood level of hydrogen gas declines rapidly after discontinuation of inhalation because it is excreted by the lungs.”[3]

This last paragraph is important in terms of dosage and type of inhalation machine one is looking at. One off hand estimate is that 300ml/min flow of hydrogen at 8 percent concentration saturates the blood in about ten minutes. Once it is saturated it is only a matter of keeping hydrogen levels available for circulation. Hydrogen inhalers that use 99 percent hydrogen will saturate the body even quicker, and though that might be useful at times under emergency situations, it is not necessary nor have any of the scientific studies been carried out at such high concentrations.

Hard Hydrogen Science

In a rat model of resuscitated cardiac arrest, the survival rate at 72 h after return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) was only 30% in the control group, whereas it increased to 70% in the hypothermia group and the hydrogen gas group, and was even higher at 80% in the combined group.[4] Combining hydrogen with infrared warming therapies optimizes therapeutic outcomes.

Stroke is a devastating neurological disease and hydrogen has shown promise for these patients as well. By inhalation, hydrogen gas is able to pass blood brain barrier effectively, leading to improved neurological deficits in variety of stroke models (Ohsawa et al., 2007; Chen et al., 2010; Lekic et al., 2011; Zhan et al., 2012).

“Destructive ROS like hydroxyl radicals are strong oxidants that cause tissue damage, whereas beneficial species like superoxide and hydrogen peroxide enhance endogenous antioxidant mechanisms through signal transduction pathways. A potent antioxidant, such as vitamin C, indiscriminately eliminates both destructive and beneficial ROS, thus failing to suppress the onset or progression of conditions related to oxidative stress. Hydrogen gas is a weak reducing agent, and its oxidation-reduction reaction only occurs with a strong oxidant that causes tissue damage.”[5]

“Hydrogen gas inhalation confers resistance to hemodynamic instability caused by massive bleeding. It appears that, when hydrogen gas is administered under circumstances where homeostasis is disturbed, it works on complex networks and restores homeostasis. Endogenous physiologically active gases, such as nitric oxide and carbon monoxide, bind to heme, but hydrogen gas does not.”[6]

Safer Surgery with Magnesium

Everything in surgery, emergency room medicine and intensive care is facilitated with magnesium. Complications such as arrhythmias, kidney failure, stroke and infections may occur after major surgery. Everyone scheduled for surgery needs to increase their stores of magnesium. In the pre-and postoperative phases magnesium can help alleviate pain, decrease blood pressure, alleviate certain heart arrhythmias; it works to prevent blood clotting, relieves depression so common after bypass surgery, and improves energy and cognitive abilities.

Dr. Sarah Mayhill says, “Magnesium has both a thrombolytic (able to dissolve thrombosis) effect, but also protects against adverse effects of stunning. From the mid 1980s there has been increasing evidence that the use of intravenous magnesium, given as early as possible (and before reperfusion) has a major beneficial effect on the outcome of this life threatening situation. Positive studies have shown between a 50% and 82.5% improved survival rate after doses of intravenous magnesium given by drips in the dosage range of 32 – 66 mmol in the first 24 hours.”

When magnesium levels are corrected by the administration of magnesium before, during and after surgery medical complications are significantly reduced to the point where it becomes simply imprudent to perform surgery without it. Dr. Minato at the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, in Japan, strongly recommends the correction of hypomagnesemia during and after off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting (OPCAB) for the prevention of perioperative coronary artery spasm and his team have said that they won’t perform this surgery without its use any longer.[7]


Hydrogen is another substance that will facilitate positive outcomes in ICU and surgery departments as well as in ambulances and emergency centers. In the future it will be a great sin (mistake) even malpractice to not give hydrogen or magnesium in these critical care departments. It should not be a great leap for the medical system to go from giving oxygen in all instances to giving hydrogen and oxygen at the same time.

The high end hydrogen inhaler featured above would give doctors perfect control over both gases so when it becomes available with FDA approval it will be exactly what doctors and nurses in these departments will want. However for patients the best and most necessary units need to be used at home, on a daily basis over the long haul, if the full benefits of hydrogen are what is desired.

People who are in the act of dying are under an incredible amount of stress, especially oxidative stress. Navy divers down 700 to 800 meters are also under an incredible amount of stress. Hydrogen provides the best answer for both situations. Hydrogen provides the fattest fire hose to put out the oxidative stress and at anything above two liters a minute will provide relief in seconds and more in minutes and even more in the hours ahead when dealing with patients knocking at deaths door.

[1] Free Radical Biology and Medicine. Volume 40, Issue 3, 1 February 2006, Pages 398-406

The role of oxidative stress in adult critical care

[2] Crit Care. 2006; 10(5): R146. Oxidative stress is increased in critically ill patients according to antioxidant vitamins intake, independent of severity: a cohort study

[3] Acute Medicine and Surgery. Promising novel therapy with hydrogen gas for emergency and critical care medicine

24 October 2017.

[4] Hayashida K, Sano M, Kamimura N et al. H2 gas improves functional outcome after cardiac arrest to an extent comparable to therapeutic hypothermia in a rat model. J. Am. Heart Assoc. 2012; 1: e003459.

[5] Ohsawa I, Ishikawa M, Takahashi K et al. Hydrogen acts as a therapeutic antioxidant by selectively reducing cytotoxic oxygen radicals. Nat. Med. 2007; 13: 688–94.

[6] Acute Medicine and Surgery. Promising novel therapy with hydrogen gas for emergency and critical care medicine

24 October 2017.

[7] Perioperative coronary artery spasm in off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting and its possible relation with perioperative hypomagnesemia. Ann Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006 Feb;12(1):32-6.

Hi, I'm Dr. Mark Sircus, AC., OMD, DM (P), a doctor and writer of more than 23 books that have sold over 80,000 copies all over the world. I've been on of firsts to publish on the medical and well-being uses of hydrogen, and I wrote a book about it called - "Hydrogen Medicine".

On my website there are hundreds of free articles, but if you need some personalized help, you can make a consultation.

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