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Letters to the Editor

A Simple Oxygen Delivery System for the Transportation of Intubated Patients

Kreisler, Nevin S. MD; Schmit, Donald B. MD

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doi: 10.1213/00000539-199810000-00058
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To the Editor:

Occasionally, tracheally intubated patients may need to be transported from the operating room to the postanesthesia care unit. To deliver supplemental oxygen during transfer, the endotracheal tube (ETT) is usually connected to a disposable Mapelson C-type resuscitation bag. The cost of this bag at our institution is $7.20. Recently, we used a simple device that relies on assembling pieces from the patient's anesthetic breathing circuit with a piece of standard oxygen tubing (Fits-All[trade mark sign]; Metropolitan Medical, Inc., Kearneysville, WV). The cost of this tubing at our institution is $0.45. As illustrated in Figure 1, the elbow connector of the breathing circuit remains attached to the ETT. One end of the oxygen tubing is attached to the gas sampling port of the elbow connector, and the other end of tubing is connected to the oxygen cylinder. We recommend limiting the oxygen flow to 5 L to prevent excessive pressure build up within the system that may result in lung overdistension. Repeated measurements with a Rascal II[registered sign] (Ohmeda, Salt Lake City, UT) indicated that this flow rate produces a fraction of inspired oxygen of about 50%. In our experience, this T-piece configuration provides adequate supplemental oxygen delivery in the spontaneously breathing patient at a fraction of the cost of the other modalities.

Figure 1
Figure 1:
Oxygen tubing attached to endotracheal tube via gas sampling port of elbow connector.

Nevin S. Kreisler, MD

Donald B. Schmit, MD

Department of Anesthesiology; University of Virginia Health Sciences Center; Charlottesville, VA 22908

© 1998 International Anesthesia Research Society