Photo/Rick McClure

The Airway Management Education Center has announced the winner of “Airway Article of the Year” Award for 2020.

The winner is Time to Loss of Preoxygenation in Emergency Department Patients by Jarrod Mosier MD, Robert F. Reardon MD, Paige A. DeVries BS, Jamie L. Stang BS, Ashley Nelson BA, Matthew E. Prekker MD and Brian E. Driver MD.

In this study, researchers investigated the elapsed time between removal of oxygen sources and the loss of preoxygenation among non-critically ill patients in the emergency department. They found the median time to loss of preoxygenation to be 4.5 breaths (20 sec) with all devices removed, and 8 breaths (2 min) when nasal cannula was left in place. This suggests that during RSI in the emergency department, preoxygenation devices should be left in place until the patient is completely apneic.

“When performing emergency airway management, you are responsible for the patient in front of you,” says Dr. Brown. Removing oxygen sources before the patient is apneic results in loss of the oxygen reservoir you worked hard to build up.

The takeaway from this article, according to Dr. Brown, is to “make sure the patient is completely apneic before removing oxygen sources. That precious oxygen reservoir depletes quickly if the patient breathes room air.”

The award show was presented as a live webinar on December 17, 2020.