Oxygen must have been given to more infants than any other medicinal product in the last 60 years. Despite that, we still know very little about how much infants actually need, or how much it is wise to give. Given that we have also known for nearly 50 years that it is easy to damage the eyes of preterm infants by giving too much oxygen, especially in the first few weeks of life,1,2  the depth of our ignorance is really quite embarrassing.

It was the use of a randomized, controlled trial to inform clinical practice that first made clinicians aware that although oxygen was a “good thing,” it was quite possible to have “too much of a good thing.” Despite that, with one honorable exception, no other clinical trial has ever been conducted since then to clarify how much oxygen infants really need. The preterm...

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