David MacLeod, MBBS, has co-authored a manuscript with nationally acclaimed anesthesia researcher, Dr. John Severinghaus, titled “Effects of Acute, Profound Hypoxia on Healthy Humans: Implications for Safety of Tests Evaluating Pulse Oximetry or Tissue Oximetry Performance.” The study, published in the August 2016 issue of Anesthesia and Analgesia, reviews the effects of acute profound hypoxia on human physiology and central nervous system function. It concluded that brief hypoxia used for control of breathing studies, pulse oximeter performance testing, or experienced by breath-hold divers is highly unlikely to lead to cognitive impairment.
Dr. MacLeod is an assistant professor of anesthesiology and the director of Duke Anesthesiology’s Human Pharmacology and Physiology Lab. Dr. Severinghaus was formerly the chief of anesthesia research at the National Institutes of Health, studying hypothermia use for cardiac and brain surgery. He received the first American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Award for excellence in research in 1986.