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.