We hypothesize that capnography could detect hypoventilation during induction of bronchoscopic sedation and starting bronchoscopy following hypoventilation, may decrease hypoxemia. Patients were randomized to: starting bronchoscopy when hypoventilation (hypopnea, two successive breaths of at least 50% reduction of the peak wave compared to baseline or apnea, no wave for 10 seconds) (Study group, n = 55), or when the Observer Assessment of Alertness and Sedation scale (OAAS) was less than 4 (Control group, n = 59). Propofol infusion was titrated to maintain stable vital signs and sedative levels. The hypoventilation during induction in the control group and the sedative outcome were recorded. The patient characteristics and procedures performed were similar. Hypoventilation was observed in 74.6% of the patients before achieving OAAS < 4 in the control group. Apnea occurred more than hypopnea (p < 0.0001). Hypoventilation preceded OAAS < 4 by 96.5 ± 88.1 seconds. In the study group, the induction time was shorter (p = 0.03) and subjects with any two events of hypoxemia during sedation, maintenance or recovery were less than the control group (1.8 vs. 18.6%, p < 0.01). Patient tolerance, wakefulness during sedation, and cooperation were similar in both groups. Significant hypoventilation occurred during the induction and start bronchoscopy following hypoventilation may decrease hypoxemia without compromising patient tolerance.
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