Hydrogen gas is a promising novel therapy for emergency and critical care medicine. Hydrogen gas exerts a therapeutic effect in a wide range of disease conditions, from acute illness such as ischemia–reperfusion injury, shock, and damage healing to chronic illness such as metabolic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Researchers have reported that hydrogen gas is useful for acute myocardial infarction, cardiopulmonary arrest syndrome, sepsis, contrast‐induced acute kidney injury, and hemorrhagic shock. Hydrogen gas has even been used to attenuate oxidative stress in a rat model of subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Mechanical ventilation (MV) can provoke oxidative stress and an inflammatory response, and subsequently cause ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI), a major cause of mortality and morbidity of patients in the intensive care unit. Inhaled hydrogen can act as an antioxidant and may be useful as a novel therapeutic gas. Medical scientists have found that inhaled hydrogen gas effectively reduced VILI-associated inflammatory responses, at both a local and systemic level, via its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic effects.
The First-in-Human Pilot Study is demonstrating the safety of hydrogen gas inhalation for Post-Cardiac Arrest Syndrome. Between January 2014 and January 2015, 21 of 107 patients with cardiac arrest achieved spontaneous return of circulation. No undesirable effects attributable to hydrogen were observed.