• Placing the patient on a backboard forces blood down the back of the throat and causes vomiting. • Try to encourage the patient to spit out as much as possible, and consider placing the board on the side and/or packing the nose.
28 • In general, an airway obstruction is characterized as partial or complete. • It can be cause by soft tissue, solids, or liquids. • These classifications make it easier to recognize airway obstructions.
29 • Complete airway obstruction: condition in which a foreign object or soft tissue completely occludes the flow of any air into the lungs • IT IS ONE OF THE MOST RAPIDLY FATAL CONDITIONS AND MUST BE RECOGNIZED AND TREATED QUICKLY. • Because no air is being moved, a patient with a complete airway obstruction is silent.
30 • A conscious patient is anxious and may clutch at the throat. • Patient may attempt to be alone and try to run to a restroom. • There will be little chest wall excursion; no air will move.
31 • If the obstruction is not cleared, the patient will lose consciousness, usually within a few minutes. • An unconscious patient with complete airway obstruction is in respiratory arrest. • Respiratory arrest: the absence of respiration • You will recognize the obstruction when attempts to ventilate the patient do not work.
32 • In some patients with complete airway obstruction, the basic attempts to remove the obstruction may be unsuccessful.
33 • If the patient is unconscious, the use of direct laryngoscopy and Magill forceps may be the only way of removing the obstruction.
34 • Incomplete airway obstruction: condition in which a foreign object or soft tissue partially occludes the flow of air into the lungs • Classified as having good or poor air exchange
35 • They are more common than complete airway obstructions, but they are more difficult to identify and classify. • Patients can exchange some air. • Breathing is noisy, which helps to identify the obstruction.
36 • Patients with good air exchange are anxious but can exchange enough oxygen and carbon dioxide to maintain consciousness. • They generally have labored breathing with intercostal and suprasternal retractions; oxygen saturation may be normal. • Retractions: concavity of the soft tissue overlying bone in the thoracic cage during inhalation; a sign of increased work of breathing
37 • Conscious patients with poor air exchange cannot exchange enough air to maintain oxygen saturation. • Identify these patients quickly and relieve the obstruction before they lose consciousness.
38 • Signs of poor air exchange: a dusky skin color or cyanosis, a decreasing level of consciousness, and falling oxygen saturation levels • Cyanosis: a bluish tint of the mucous membranes and nail beds; a late sign of hypoxemia
39 • The most common cause of partial airway obstruction in unconscious patients is soft tissue, specifically the tongue and epiglottis.
- Spring '14
- Hemoglobin, airway obstruction, Oxygen saturation