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Anaesthesia. 1992 Feb;47(2):158-61.

Oxygen saturation and cardiovascular changes during fibreoptic intubation under general anaesthesia.

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Department of Anaesthetics, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Maida Vale, London.


Sixty patients who required fibreoptic nasotracheal intubation were studied. Arterial oxygen saturation, arterial blood pressure and heart rate were monitored continuously during fibreoptic intubation under deep halothane anaesthesia. There were significant decreases (p less than 0.001) in arterial blood pressure and heart rate despite administration of intravenous colloid and atropine. Almost one third of the patients (18 out of 60) suffered a decrease in arterial oxygen saturation below 90% during the intubation sequence and in five patients the saturation fell below 80%. The episodes of desaturation were not related to the induction-intubation time or to the grade of laryngeal visibility at direct laryngoscopy.

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