In anaesthetic practice the risk of hypoxia and arterial blood gas disturbances is evident, as most anaesthetic regimens depress the respiratory function. Hypoxia may be extended during recovery, and for this reason we wished to investigate if oxygen supply during a one hour post-operative period reduced the development of hypoxia and respiratory acidosis in rats anaesthetized with fentanyl/fluanisone and midazolam. Twelve Sprague Dawley rats underwent surgery and were divided in two groups, breathing either 100% oxygen or atmospheric air during a post-operative period. The peripheral blood oxygen saturation and arterial acid-base status were analyzed for differences between the two groups. We found that oxygen supply after surgery prevented hypoxia but did not result in a significant difference in the blood acid-base status. All rats developed respiratory acidosis, which could not be reversed by supplemental oxygen supply. We concluded that oxygen supply improved oxygen saturation and avoided hypoxia but did not have an influence on the acid-base status.
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