Objective: The goal was to assess the time to recognition of apnea in a simulated pediatric sedation scenario, with and without supplemental oxygen.
Methods: A pediatric human patient simulator mannequin was used to simulate apnea in a 6-year-old patient who received sedation for resetting of a fractured leg. Thirty pediatricians participating in a credentialing course for sedation were randomly assigned to 2 groups. Those in group 1 (N = 15) used supplemental oxygen, and those in group 2 (N = 15) did not use supplemental oxygen. A third group (N = 10), consisting of anesthesiology residents (postgraduate years 2 and 3 equivalent), performed the scenario with oxygen supplementation, to ensure validity and reliability of the simulation. The time interval from simulated apnea to bag-mask ventilation was recorded. Oxygen saturation and Paco(2) values were recorded. All recorded variables and measurements were compared between the groups.
Results: The time interval for bag-mask ventilation to occur in group 1 (oxygen supplementation) was significantly longer than that in group 2 (without oxygen supplementation) (173 +/- 130 and 83 +/- 42 seconds, respectively). The time interval for bag-mask ventilation to occur was shorter in group 3 (anesthesiology residents) (24 +/- 6 seconds). Paco(2) reached a higher level in group 1 (75 +/- 26 mmHg), compared with groups 2 and 3 (48 +/- 10 and 42 +/- 3 mmHg, respectively). There was no significant difference between the groups in oxygen saturation values at the time of clinical detection of apnea (93 +/- 5%, 88 +/- 5%, and 94 +/- 7%, respectively).
Conclusions: Hypoventilation and apnea are detected more quickly when patients undergoing sedation breathe only air. Supplemental oxygen not only does not prevent oxygen desaturation but also delays the recognition of apnea.