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Changes in Ventilation in Pediatric Patients After Removal of Gastric Contents

N. Ty Smith, MD; Edwin J. Lilly, MD
JAMA. 1963;183(13):1078-1081. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700130046010.
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Studies on 100 fasting infants and children anesthetized for elective surgery showed that there was often considerable gas and liquid in the stomach. The total volume of the gastric contents was sufficient to exert mechanical effects on respiratory movements, for removal of these contents led to a clinically significant increase in tidal volume and in pulmonary ventilation per minute. Since it was impossible to predict before surgery the amount of gas or liquid in the stomach, and since complications from passing a gastric tube were rare and usually minor, it is suggested that a gastric tube be passed in pediatric patients as soon as possible after induction of anethesia, and the gastric contents removed.

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