J Anesth Perioper Med. 2018;5(3):101-113. https://doi.org/10.24015/ebcmed.japm.2018.0051

Perioperative and Anesthetic Adverse Events in Thailand (PAAd THAI) Incident Reporting Study: Perioperative Oxygen Desaturation

Pathomporn Pin-on1, Krit Panjasawatwong1, Anantachote Vimuktanandana2, Wimonrat Sriraj3, Chuthamat Somchat4, and Dujduen Sriramatr5

From the 1Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand; 2Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; 3Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; 4Department of Anesthesiology, Lamphun Hospital, Lamphun, Thailand; 5Department of Anesthesiology, Faculty of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University, Nakhon Nayok, Thailand.

Correspondence to Dr. Pathomporn Pin-on at pinon.pathomporn@gmail.com.

EBCMED ID: ebcmed.japm.2018.0051 DOI: 10.24015/ebcmed.japm.2018.0051


The occurrence of hypoxemia in patients undergoing anesthesia is extremely varied. The objective of this study was to report the incidence, explore the causes, and report the outcomes of oxygen desaturation in a large surgical population.

We performed a retrospective study using electronically extracted anesthetic records obtained from 22 academic medical centers across Thailand. All surgical patients under anesthesia during a one-year period were included in the analysis. Hypoxemia was defined as oxygen saturation < 90% for 3 minutes. Any episode of oxygen saturation ≤ 85% was defined as severe hypoxemia. The contributory factors, the factors minimizing incidence and suggested corrective strategies were examined.

There were 2,000 incident cases from all centers. Four hundred sixteen of these patients developed oxygen desaturation. The incidence of oxygen desaturation among all incident cases was 0.2. 50.2% of these patients experienced the episode of severe hypoxia. Oxygen desaturation occurred during the intubation period 26.7%. Upper airway obstruction was the leading cause of oxygen desaturation in the induction, intubation, and recovery periods. Circulatory failure concomitant with oxygen desaturation was found mainly during the maintenance period and at the ward. Haste, lack of knowledge, and inadequate patient preparation were considered as major contributory factors. Improved communication skill and more manpower were the most frequently suggested corrective strategies.

Hypoxemia is common during the perioperative period despite the widespread availability of oxygen saturation monitors. This study highlighted strategies that will help to reduce the clinical impact of oxygen desaturation. These strategies are improving communication skill and providing adequate manpower. (Funded by the Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University.)

Article Type
Original Article

Declaration of Interests
The authors declare no other conflicts of competing interest for this work.

This work was supported by a grant (059 / 2558) from the Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University (CMU).

This is an open-access article, published by Evidence Based Communications (EBC). This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format for any lawful purpose. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.