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Summary

Positive end-expiratory pressure (peep) was applied in 74 anesthetized, ventilated horses during colic surgery, to attempt to increase arterial oxygen tensions. In 28 horses with an initial P a O 2 < 70 mm of Hg, peep increased P a O 2 values to a mean of 173 ± 24 mm of Hg. Arterial oxygen content increased from 14.1 ± 0.05 ml/dl to 17.2 ± 0.05 ml/dl. In the remaining 46 horses, peep increased P a O 2 from a mean value of 101 ± 6 mm of Hg to 194 ± 15 mm of Hg, and arterial oxygen content increased from 14.9 ± 0.09 ml/dl to 16.9 ± 0.07 ml/dl.

Cardiovascular depression and decrease in arterial blood pressure was observed after the application of peep in 54 horses. These 54 horses required use of pressors (n = 8), inotropes (n = 32), or both (n = 14) to keep the mean arterial blood pressure > 60 mm of Hg. Combined with pharmacologic support of blood pressure, peep could be a useful clinical treatment of arterial hypoxemia in horses.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association