Preoxygenation: terminology, physiological basis, techniques, efficiency increasing methods, features in critical patients, possible risks

L.A. Maltseva, V.I. Grishin, V.V. Khalimonchyk, D.V. Bazylenko, P.P. Golota, M.V. Garus, R.A. Shkapyak


Preoxygenation is a widespread technique before induction into anesthesia and tracheal intubation, designed to increase the body oxygen stores and, thereby, to delay the onset of arterial hemoglobin desaturation during apnea. The indicators of preoxygenation effectiveness are: an increase in the fraction of alveolar oxygen, an increase in arterial oxygen tension and a decrease in the fraction of alveolar nitrogen. The end point of maximum preoxygenation is the end expiratory oxygen concentration of 90 % or end expiratory nitrogen concentration of 5 %. Two techniques are used for preoxygenation: tidal volume breathing and deep breathing. There are various techniques for improving the effect of preoxygenation. They include head lifting, apneic diffusion oxygenation, the use of continuous positive airway pressure/positive end expiratory pressure, bilevel positive airway pressure and transnasal humidified rapid insufflation ventilator exchange. High risk preoxygenation includes such patients as pregnant women, obese patients, children, the elderly, patients with concomitant pulmonary disea­ses, patients at high altitude. Potential risks of preoxygenation include a delayed esophageal intubation, absorption atelectasis, the production of active oxygen particles and undesirable hemodynamic effects. Hemodynamic effects and accumulation of active oxygen particles during preoxygenation are insignificant. Absorptive atelectasis is a consequence of preoxygenation. To reduce the risk of absorption atelectasis during preoxygenation, two approaches have been proposed: a moderate reduction in the oxygen fraction to 0.8 and the use of recruitment maneuvers such as constant positive airway pressure, positive end expiratory pressure and/or vital capacity maneuver. Although the slight pressure of the oxygen fraction reduces the risk of atelectasis, this is due to the reduction of the oxygen reserve. The technique of preoxygenation should be used correctly, with monitoring of oxygen concentration at the end of expiration. An anesthetist should be familiarized with the various methods of conducting preoxygenation, choosing the most suitable.


preoxygenation; physiological effects; possible risks


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