Near-fatal misuse of medical tape around an endotracheal tube connector during inhalation anesthesia in a horse

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Abstract

A 7-year-old gelded Irish sports horse weighing 650 kg was anesthetized on 2 consecutive days for lavage of a septic right radio-carpal joint. On both occasions the endotracheal tube connector, which had been bound in medical tape to produce an airtight seal, functioned as a unidirectional valve during mechanical ventilation, retarding expiration, imposing positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP), and probably continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). The equipment dysfunction was not identified on either occasion despite close inspection prompted by progressive increases in airway pressure and thoracic distension. Whilst the PEEP and CPAP exerted unexpectedly modest cardiovascular effects and the horse recovered uneventfully on both occasions, the improvisation may have proven fatal in a higher-risk subject.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-82
Number of pages5
JournalThe Canadian veterinary journal. La revue vétérinaire canadienne
Volume53
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

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