Ventilation with an Unprotected Airway During Cardiac Arrest

  • V. Wenzel
  • A. H. Idris
  • K. H. Lindner
Conference paper
Part of the Yearbook of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (YEARBOOK, volume 1997)


Ventilating a patient with an unprotected, unintubated airway is a frequent procedure in the hospital and emergency medical service. Once personnel who are trained in advanced airway support arrive at the scene of a cardiac arrest, the patient is usually intubated and mechanically ventilated. The European Resuscitation Council has recently recommended a decrease in the tidal volume during ventilation with an unprotected airway from 0.8–1.2 [1] to 0.5 L [2], partly in an effort to decrease inspiratory flow rate, and therefore, to minimize stomach inflation. Although ventilation has an effect on arterial and mixed venous pH, carbon dioxide, and end-tidal CO2 when pulmonary blood flow is extremely low, such as during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or shock [3], a small tidal volume with an unprotected airway may be a better trade-off in order to provide reasonable ventilation, while avoiding massive gastric inflation that may result in a disaster.


Cardiac Arrest Tidal Volume Emergency Medical Service Chest Compression Lower Esophageal Sphincter Pressure 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Wenzel
  • A. H. Idris
  • K. H. Lindner

There are no affiliations available

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