Are Blood Gases Necessary in Mechanically Ventilated Patients Who Have Successfully Completed a Spontaneous Breathing Trial?

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: The utility of routinely obtaining arterial blood gas analyses (ABGs) prior to extubation in patients who have successfully completed a spontaneous breathing trial is not known. OBJECTIVE: Review our practices and determine our extubation success rate with a policy of selective ABG utilization. METHODS: Retrospective chart review. RESULTS: We reviewed 54 extubations of 52 patients. Sixty-five percent of the extubations were performed without obtaining an ABG after the spontaneous breathing trial. The extubation success rate was 94% for the entire group and was the same regardless of whether an ABG measurement was obtained (94.7% vs 94.3%, respectively). CONCLUSION: ABG measurement does not appear to be a prerequisite to extubation following a clinically successful spontaneous breathing trial.

Keywords: ARTERIAL BLOOD GAS; CLINICAL PROTOCOLS; ENDOTRACHEAL INTUBATION; MECHANICAL VENTILATION; SPONTANEOUS BREATHING TRIAL; VENTILATOR WEANING

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Internal Medicine, Memorial Medical Center, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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