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Safe Apnea Time

critical language to elevate your airway practice

“Extending the safe apnoea time merely delays critical desaturation and provides time to implement the definitive airway strategy that will ultimately prevent/reverse desaturation. It is thus an adjunct, not an alternative, to restoring alveolar oxygen delivery.”

Nicholas Chrimes MD / The Vortex Approach

Some airway procedures (such as intubation) require the temporary cessation or interruption of oxygen to your patient. While necessary to ultimately provide a definitive airway, this period of apnea is dangerous to your patient. Apneic patients without positive pressure oxygenation and ventilation will become critically hypoxic within a couple of minutes.

Fortunately there are techniques to extend that “safe apnea” time for procedures such as endotracheal intubation. The ability to pre-oxygenate your patient and to extend the safe apnea time is a cornerstone of airway management.

The Critical Language Project is a part of the Protected Airway Collaborative