Imminent upper airway obstruction due to life-threatening tracheal stenosis of any cause is challenging. A 77-year-old woman, with a history of temporal tracheostomy for prolonged mechanical ventilation, presented with life-threatening tracheal stenosis to the emergency department. After failed intubation with a 5.0 mm internal diameter endotracheal tube, the patient was ventilated via a tube exchanger using Ventrain. Ventrain is a manual ventilation device that, in addition to oxygen supply during inspiration, initiates expiration by actively removing gas from the lungs by suction. Despite the nearly obstructed airway the patient was adequately ventilated with ‘permissive’ hypercarbia of 50 mm Hg and Saturation of peripheral Oxygen (SpO2) 95%–98% until surgical re-tracheostomy was performed. The haemodynamic stability of the patient indicated that the active expiration prevented intrapulmonary pressure build-up by air trapping and subsequent barotrauma and/or haemodynamic deterioration, which may well be observed during traditional jet ventilation especially in case of a completely obstructed airway.
- Emergency Medicine
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Contributors BMW contributed substantially to conception and design of the article, drafting the article and final approval. HAT was involved in drafting the article, revised it critically and also approved the final version. AE-M revised the article and approved the final version.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Guardian consent obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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