Ventilating Head Injury

The use of quantitative end-tidal capnometry to avoid inadvertent severe hyperventilation in patients with head injury after paramedic rapid sequence intubation.

Davis DP, Dunford JV, Ochs M, Park K, Hoyt DB.J Trauma. 2004 Apr;56(4):808-14

In this study of 291 intubated head injured patients, 144 had ETCO2 monitoring. The patients with ETCO2 monitoring had lower incidence of inadvertant severe hyperventilation (5.6%) than those without ETCO2 monitoring (13.4%). Patients in both groups with severe hyperventilation had significantly higher mortality (56%) than those without (30%).

“The use of ETCO2 monitoring to guide ventilation for patients with severe head injury undergoing paramedic RSI appears to prevent excessive hyperventilation.”

Bottom Line for EMS: Monitor ETCO2 to prevent hyperventilation in intubated head injured patients.


At 1:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An injury to the head is always a serious matter as it could lead to all sorts of complications, what feels like a normal headache could be something else. If you or someone you know suffers a head injury they should be checked by a professional as soon as possible. If it a industrial accident then inform your boss of the incident and ask if you can leave for treatment.


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