3 years ago

The effect of neuromuscular blockade on the efficiency of facemask ventilation in patients difficult to facemask ventilate: a prospective trial

M. Hellmich, P. Alm, S. Soltész, A. Mathes, J. Hinkelbein
Facemask ventilation of the lungs can be an important rescue intervention in a ‘cannot intubate’ scenario. We assessed the effect of neuromuscular blockade on expiratory tidal volumes in patients with expected difficulty in mask ventilation. The lungs of patients with at least three predictors of difficulty in mask ventilation were ventilated using a facemask held with two hands, with mechanical ventilation set in a pressure-controlled mode. Tidal volumes were recorded before and after the establishment of complete neuromuscular block. In 113 patients, median (IQR [range]) tidal volume increased from 350 (260–492 [80–850]) ml initially, by 48% to 517 (373–667 [100–1250]) ml 30 s after rocuronium administration, (p < 0.001). After the onset of the complete neuromuscular block, a median tidal volume of 600 (433–750 [250–1303]) ml was observed, corresponding to an increase of 71% from baseline values (p < 0.001), and 16% from values obtained 30 s after rocuronium administration, respectively; p = 0.003). No decrease in the tidal volume during the measurements was observed. We conclude that the administration of rocuronium at a dose of 0.6 mg.kg−1 was able to improve facemask ventilation in all cases with a potentially clinically relevant increase in tidal volume. The early use of a neuromuscular blocking agent can be considered as a therapeutic option in case of difficulty with mask ventilation.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/anae.14035

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