Critically ill patients requiring emergent endotracheal intubation are at risk for life-threatening hypoxemia during the intubation procedure, particularly when the patient is apneic and not receiving any supplemental oxygen. In a current study, Engström and colleagues investigated the effect of nasopharyngeal oxygenation in eight anesthetized pigs with induced acute lung injury. The investigators confirmed, even in this model, that pharyngeal oxygenation significantly prolonged the time to desaturation during periods of apnea. Recognizing the limitations of directly extrapolating these experimental results to critically ill human subjects, the findings do support the contention that, until proven otherwise, nasopharyngeal oxygenation should at least be considered as one technique to diminish hypoxemic complications in very sick patients, particularly those with underlying pulmonary impairment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine