Should we pre-oxygenate?

Erasmus, F. R. ; Murray, W. B. (1981)

CITATION: Erasmus, F. R. & Murray, W. B. 1981. Should we pre-oxygenate? South African Medical Journal, 58:450-451.

The original publication is available at


The importance of routine pre-oxygenation before induction of anesthesia was demonstrated in animals. The onset of dangerous levels of hypoxia after the administration of suxamethonium can be delayed considerably by the administration of pure oxygen for 5 minutes before induction. This allows time for an atraumatic and panic-free intubation before controlled ventilation. After pre-oxygenation the volume of oxygen in the functional residual capacity of the lungs shows a sixfold increase. This is the principal oxygen stored during apnea.

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