Efficacy of Apnoeic Oxygenation by Nasal Prongs in Preventing Desaturation during Airway Management in Infants Undergoing General Anaesthesia: A Randomised Controlled Study
Dr. S Bala Bhaskar,
Professor, Department of Anaesthesiology, Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences, Ballari, Karnataka-583104, India.
Introduction: Neonates and infants are more prone to desaturation during the apnoeic period of laryngoscopy and intubation. Various options exist to reduce this risk beyond conventional preoxygenation.
Aim: To assess whether continuous apnoeic oxygenation via nasal prongs during intubation can extend the safe apnoea period compared to standard management with preoxygenation alone.
Materials and Methods: A randomised controlled, two-group parallel clinical study was conducted at the Department of Anaesthesiology, Vijayanagar Institute of Medical Sciences, Ballari, Karnataka, India, from July 2019 to November 2020. The study involved 63 infants aged one day to six months undergoing elective or emergency surgeries under general anaesthesia. Preoxygenation via a mask was followed by sevoflurane induction and vecuronium-induced muscle relaxation. Conventional laryngoscopy and intubation were performed in 32 infants in Group-C (Control group), while 31 infants in Group-O (Apnoeic Oxygenation group) also received oxygen (O2) via nasal prongs at 4 L/min in addition to preoxygenation.
The primary outcome parameter was the time taken for desaturation by 1%. The time taken to desaturate by 2%, 3%, 4%, and 5%, as well as their incidences, lowest observed saturation, safe apnoea period, and Heart Rate (HR) trends, were also noted. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 and OpenEpi version 3.01.
Results: Demographic and clinical parameters were comparable between the groups. The mean time for 1% desaturation was 18.33±4.3 seconds in Group-C, while all Group-O cases maintained 100% saturation during the study period. No significant difference was found in the safe apnoea period between the groups (p=0.503). The average lowest O2 saturation observed in Group-C was 98.81±1.28%, while it was 100% in Group-O. Only one infant in Group-C showed desaturation down to 95%. Both groups exhibited similar HR trends.
Conclusion: Apnoeic oxygenation by nasal prongs in healthy infants helps prolong the time to desaturation and can be beneficial for those at risk of desaturation and hypoxia.