Category: Critical Care
Keywords: apnea time, rapid sequence intubation, atelectasis, crticial care, intubation, hypoexemia, obesity (PubMed Search)
The supine position during rapid sequence intubation may result in posterior lung atelectasis thereby reducing lung volumes, oxygenation reserve, and ultimately apnea time.
Several studies have shown that elevating the head of the bed by at least 20 degrees or placing a patient in reverse Trendelenberg position (for patients with contra-indications to elevating the head of the bed) during RSI may significantly increase apnea time.
Elevating the head of the bed may be especially helpful for patients with BMIs >35
Weingart, S and Levitan, R. Preoxygenation and prevention of desaturation during emergency airway management. Ann Emerg Med. 2012 Mar; 59(3):165-175.e1; here's the article for FREE: http://www.annemergmed.com/article/S0196-0644(11)01667-2/fulltext
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