Hypoxemia during endotracheal suctioning in ventilated intensive care patients: A comparison of two techniques of preoxygenation

R. S. Kamal, F. H. Khan, F. A. Khan, H. Q. Shameem

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Sixty patients on intermittent positive pressure ventilation were evaluated for changes in their oxygen status by finger pulse oximetry during and after suctioning using different techniques of preoxygenation. Patients were arbitrarily divided into two groups on the basis of their steady state oxygen status prior to suctioning. Group A included patients with a steady state oxygen saturation between 96-100% and group B included patients having oxygen saturations between 90-95%. Endotracheal suction was performed on each patient with three different techniques. In technique I patient's continued to be on the ventilator as the FiO2 was increased to 1, for three minutes, prior to suctioning. In technique II patient's were given positive pressure ventilation manually from a reservoir bag with an FiO2 of 1 for one minute before suctioning using the Mapleson C circuit. Techniques I and II and control method were applied in subsequent order. All patients served as their own controls and for the third subsequent suction did not receive hand ventilation nor had the FiO2 increased prior to suctioning. Blood pressure, heart rate and O2 saturation were monitored before during and after suctioning. The interval between each suction varied between 1 to 3 hours. Preoxygenation by increasing the FiO2 to 1 for three minutes was found to be a better technique as far as maintenance of oxygen saturation was concerned, lesser variations occured in heart rate and blood pressure especially in patients who had baseline oxygen saturations between 90 to 95%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Anaesthesiology Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Complications: endotracheal suctioning
  • Hypoxemia


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