June 27, 2019

Influence of age, weight on oxygenation impairment during anesthesia

By: Judy Mathias

Editor’s Note

Oxygenation was impaired by anesthesia more often in patients with greater age or body mass index, this study finds.

This retrospective analysis of data from two hospitals found key contributors to impaired oxygenation were low ventilation/perfusion ratios because of airway narrowing and closure in the elderly and atelectasis-induced shunt in the obese.

In addition to efforts to reduce atelectasis during anesthesia, attention should be directed to preventing airway closure in elderly patients, the researchers note. Developing techniques to stabilize airways may be an interesting new target in anesthesia, they say.

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