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Signa Vitae

Journal of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

The feasibility of vasopressin administration via laryngeal mask airway using a porcine model


Background. In pre-hospital situations, delay in resuscitation might carry extra risks for patients, so resuscitative measures should be rapid, easy-to use, and effective. A laryngeal mask airway (LMA) is a quickly placed supraglottic airway that may be used as a route for drug administration. Vasopressin is a vasopressor and might be absorbed well via the mucosa of the airways and alveoli. We conducted this animal study to verify the feasibility of administering vasopressin via a LMA.

Methods. Twenty-four Yorkshire pigs were anesthetized and randomly divided into four groups. The pigs in Groups Placebo and tracheal tube (TT) were intubated with a cuffed tracheal tube, and those in Groups LMA and laryngeal mask airway and a catheter (LMAC) underwent a size 4 LMA insertion. In the LMAC group, an aerosolized catheter was placed into the trachea through a LMA to deliver the drug. All pigs were able to breathe spontaneously without the assistance of a ventilator. The placebo group received 5 ml of distilled water via a tracheal tube. The other groups received 1 U/kg vasopressin, which was diluted to a total volume of 5 ml with distilled water via the varied routes. The heart rates and arterial pressures were recorded before and after drug administration.

Results. The mean arterial pressure (MAP) and diastolic arterial pressure (DAP) increased significantly and maintained a plateau from 3 to 7 min in Group TT and 2 to 29 min in Group LMAC. Group LMA and Group Placebo demonstrated only one occasional elevation in MAP and no changes in DAP. Furthermore, the heart rate decreased significantly from 2 to 29 min in Group LMAC.

Conclusions. In this porcine model, vasopressin administered via an aerosolized catheter and ventilated with a LMA demonstrated a positive and prolonged pressor effect. The results suggest that an aerosolized catheter placed through a LMA, may be a practical alternative route for vasopressin administration, and that the effective duration of vasopressin is long enough to cover the period of pre-hospital management.

Key words: laryngeal mask airway, vasopressin, airway, pre-hospital

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Impact of pre-hospital oxygenation and ventilation status on outcome in patients with isolated severe traumatic brain injury


Introduction. Hypoxia is one of the secondary insults and it worsens the outcome in patients with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). On the other hand, there is some controversy about the impact of hyperoxia on the outcome in these patients. The aim of the study was to determine the impact of pre-hospital hypoxia, hyperoxia and pre-hospital ventilation status on outcome after isolated TBI.

Methods. We retrospectively reviewed charts from patients with isolated severe TBI who underwent pre-hospital endotracheal intubation. The population was sorted into groups based on PaO2 (hypoxic, PaO2 <100 mmHg; normoxic, PaO2 100-200 mmHg; hyperoxic, PaO2 > 200 mmHg) and initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) level (3-5 and ≥ 6). Ventilation status was defined as: hypocarbic (PaCO2 < 35 mmHg), normocarbic (PaCO2 35-45 mmHg) and hypercarbic (PaCO2 > 45 mmHg).

Results. Oxygenation status had no significant impact on 24- and 48-hour survival, on the length of hospital stay or on neurological outcome (measured by the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS), Glasgow Pittsburgh Cerebral Performance Categories Scale (CPC), and GCS score at discharge) when all six groups were compared together. We were unable to prove a deleterious effect of hypoxia or hyperoxia compared to normoxia on rate of survival to hospital discharge (STHD) (0.38 (0.52) vs 0.50 (0.51) vs 0.65 (0.49), where 0 – no and 1 – yes; f = 1.246, p = 0.298). Ventilation status also failed to significantly affect survival and functional outcome in patients with isolated severe TBI.

Conclusion. Pre-hospital oxygenation and ventilation status have no significant impact on outcome in patients with isolated severe TBI.

Key words: hypoxia, pre-hospital, intubation, hyperventilation, traumatic brain injury

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