A study was undertaken to assess the applicability of transtracheal ventilation in the instance of total upper airway obstruction. The effect of transtracheal jet ventilation through a variety of inflow catheters in the dog was studied. Arterial blood gas values, intratracheal pressure and minute ventilation were compared. Deflation of the airway through an array of outflow needles was independently assessed. Hypercapnia, decreased minute ventilation, and prolonged inspiratory and expiratory durations impaired use of the smallest catheters. A dual-lumen needle, to provide exclusive respiratory access and support was then designed based on the preliminary data. Prolonged transtracheal jet ventilation with a totally obstructed upper airway was successfully conducted in a live canine subject. A review of the literature is presented.
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