Scientists are now developing ways to administer oxygen intravenously through gas-filled microparticles.
The injectable oxygen can save patients with low oxygen levels in blood or those who need extra oxygen delivered to organs at risk for failure.
"Injectable oxygen has actually been in development for a while now," said lead author John Kheir, a staff physician at Boston Children's Hospital and pediatrics instructor at Harvard Medical School.
The injection was first tested on rabbits whose breathing tubes were blocked for 15 minutes.
All the rabbits treated with the oxygen injection, except one, survived without a single breath and none had organ injuries, media reports said.
"We are trying to optimise the injection's shelf life and performance," Kheir was quoted as saying.