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Nurse Anesth. 1991 Sep;2(3):119-25.

Effect of transport time and FiO2 on SpO2 during transport from the OR to the PACU.


Early postoperative hypoxemia may be due to a reduced functional residual capacity, hypoventilation, and ventilation-perfusion mismatch. These factors reduce the partial pressure of the arterial oxygen which ultimately reduces the oxygen transported to the tissues by decreasing the hemoglobin saturation. This may lead to cellular ischemia and death. Oxygen saturation may decrease during transport from the operating room to the postanesthesia care unit. The length of transport time in large operating suites may exceed 5 minutes, which may lead to inadequate oxygenation. This research used a pretest-posttest control group design on a convenience sample. Subjects were randomized into either the treatment or control group. At emergence, the SpO2 measured and the stopwatch started. The treatment group received 40% oxygen via a venturi mask during transport while the control group breathed room air. After a routine transport to the postanesthesia care unit, the SpO2 was again measured and the transport time was recorded. Oxygen saturation was found to be significantly greater in the group breathing supplemental O2 during transport.

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