Duration of anaesthesia and post-operative hypoxaemia

  • P. J. Harte
  • D. F. Courtney
  • E. Geraldine O’Sullivan
  • M. P. Brady


A PROSPECTIVE study was designed to investigate the relationship between post-operative hypoxaemia and duration of anaesthesia. The Po2 was monitored pre-operatively, 4 hours postoperatively, and daily thereafter for 2 days in 33 female patients undergoing elective biliary tract surgery. A significantly greater fall in Po2 occurred in these patients who had prolonged anaesthetics suggesting that this group of patients should be carefully monitored during the post-operative period and oxygen administered if necessary.


Functional Residual Capacity IRISH Journal Airway Closure Great Fall Closing Volume 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Alexander, J. I., Spence, A. A., Parikh, R. K. and Stuart, B. 1973. The role of airway closure in post-operative hypoxaemia. Br. J. Anaesth. 45, 34–40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Conway, M. and Payne, J. P. 1963. Post-operative hypoxaemia and oxygen therapy. Br. Med. J. 12, 844–845.Google Scholar
  3. Diament, M. L. and Palmer, K. N. V. 1966. Postoperative changes in gas tensions of arterial blood and in ventilatory function. Lancet ii, 180–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Diament, M. L. and Palmer, K. N. V. 1967. Venous arterial pulmonary shunting as the principal cause of post-operative hypoxaemia. Lancet i, 15–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Editorial. 1971. Post-operative hypoxaemia. Br. J. Anaesth. 43, 299.Google Scholar
  6. Hansen, G., Drablos, P. A. and Steinert, R. 1977. Pulmonary complications, ventilation and blood gases after upper abdominal surgery. Acta Anaesth. Scand. 21, 211–215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hewlett, A. M. and Branthwaite, M. A. 1975. Postoperative pulmonary function. Br. J. Anaesth. 47, 102–107.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hewlett, A. M., Hulands, G. H., Nunn, J. F. and Heath, J. R. 1974. Functional residual capacity during anaesthesia; 11: Spontaneous respiration. Br. J. Anaesth. 46, 486–494.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hewlett, A. M., Hulands, G. H., Nunn, J. F. and Milledge, J. S. 1974. Functional residual capacity during anaesthesia; III: Artificial ventilation. Br. J. Anaesth. 46, 495–503.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hickey, R. F., Visick, W. D., Fairley, H. B. and Fourcade, H. F. 1973. Effects of Halothane anaesthesia on functional residual capacity and alveolar-arterial oxygen tension difference. Anaesthesiology 38, 20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Knudsen, J. 1970. Duration of hypoxaemia after uncomplicated upper abdominal and thoracoabdominal operations. Anaesthesia 25, 372–377.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lancet. 1966. Post-operative hypoxaemia. ii, 209–210.Google Scholar
  13. Lancet. 1977. Post-operative atelectasis, ii, 965–966.Google Scholar
  14. Latimer, R. G., Dickman, M., Day, C. W., Gunn, M. L. and Schmidt, C. 1971. Ventilatory patterns and pulmonary complications after upper abdominal surgery determined by pre-operative and post-operative computerized spirometry and blood gas analysis. Am. J. Surg. 122, 622–632.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Marshall, B. E. and Miller, R. A. 1965. Some factors influencing post-operative hypoxaemia. Anaesthesia 29, 408–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Medical Research Council. 1962. Instructions for the use of Short Questionnaire on Respiratory Symptoms.Google Scholar
  17. Nunn, J. F. and Payne, J. P. 1962. Hypoxaemia after general anaesthesia. Lancet ii, 631–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Palmer, K. N. V. and Gardiner, A. J. S. 1964. Effect of partial gastrectomy on pulmonary physiology. Br. Med. J. i, 347–350.Google Scholar
  19. Parfrey, P. S., Harte, P. J., Quinlan, J. al. 1977a. Pulmonary function during the early post-operative period. Br. J. Surg. 64, 384–389.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pattle, R. E., Schock, C. and Battensby, J. 1972. Some effects of anaesthetics on lung surfactant. Br. J. Anaesth. 44, 1119–1127.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Raine, J. M. and Bishop, J. M. 1963. A-a difference in 02 tension and physiological deadspace in normal man. J. Appi. Physiol. 18, 284.Google Scholar
  22. Schlenker, J. C. and Hubay, C. A. 1973. The pathogenesis if post-operative atelectasis. Arch. Surg. 107, 845–850.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. Harte
    • 1
  • D. F. Courtney
    • 1
  • E. Geraldine O’Sullivan
    • 1
  • M. P. Brady
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Surgery and AnaesthesiaRegional Hospital and University CollegeCork

Personalised recommendations