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Anesth Prog. 1992;39(1-2):24-7.

Supplemental oxygen after outpatient oral and maxillofacial surgery.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass.


Arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2) was monitored postoperatively with pulse oximetry in 72 dental patients. Intravenous general anesthesia was employed in 57 patients. All of these patients received supplemental oxygen intraoperatively, and of these, 29 received supplemental oxygen postoperatively. Fifteen patients received only local anesthesia without supplemental oxygen and served as the control group. Continuous pulse oximetry revealed 43 episodes of arterial oxygen desaturation (SpO2 decreases greater than 3% from baseline) in patients who did not receive postanesthesia supplemental oxygen and eight episodes of desaturation in patients who did receive postanesthesia oxygen. Patients with a smoking history had more episodes of desaturation than did nonsmokers in the group that received general anesthesia and breathed room air postoperatively. The total amount of methohexital administered had no significant effect on the number of patients with desaturation episodes. These observations emphasize the need for postoperative oxygen for patients who undergo general anesthesia for outpatient oral and maxillofacial surgery.

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