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August 30, 1965

Expiratory Resistance of Oxygen Catheters in Patients With Tracheostomies

Author Affiliations


From Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (Maj Gunn, Maj Lewis, and Maj Meyer), and Anesthesia and Operative Service, Walter Reed General Hospital (Col Jenicek), Washington, DC.

JAMA. 1965;193(9):737-739. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090090043016

THE PRIMARY AIM of tracheostomy is to increase the efficiency of respiration while minimizing the work required for breathing. The purpose of oxygen therapy is to provide optimum tissue oxygenation by increasing arterial oxygen saturation. Therefore, in those patients requiring tracheostomy and oxygen therapy, the method of administration of oxygen should be one that not only increases the arterial oxygen saturation but also does not impose a greater work requirement for breathing and, consequently, a greater need for oxygen. With these points in mind, we decided to investigate the resistance factors associated with the procedure of inserting a catheter into a tracheostomy tube for the administration of oxygen.

That this procedure is frequently used is evidenced by a report of "errors" in oxygen administration by Kracum.1 He reported that over 50% of 45 civilian hospitals he surveyed between 1956 and 1958 used the catheter method for oxygen administration to