Question about protecting airway

Nursing Students Student Assist


Hypercapnic Respiratory Failure: *Abnormalities of CNS: *Independent of direct brainstem dysfunction, metabolic or structural brain injury resulting in significant depression of consciousness or loss of consciousness may interfere with the patient's ability to manage*secretions or adequately protect his or her airway.

What does it mean when the book ways that the patient cannot control their airway? Does it mean that they cannot close their glottis if they need to ?

Specializes in Emergency.

In lamens terms: the passage speaks about loss of consciousness leads to the patient not being able to clear their own throat of phlegm or keep their head upright to keep the pharynx patent.

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

Due to high levels of CO2 they can loose consciousness and become comatose. At that point they may be in such a state of unconsciousness that they are unable to cough to clear their airway of mucous (which CO2 retainers have a lot of) or another common obstructor of the airway......the tougue falls back an occludes the airway. They are not awake enough to move their tounge or cough. Both causing hypoventilation and progresses to apnea and respiratory arrest due to rising CO2 levels, falling O2 levels, and decreasing level of consciousness.

google.....hypercapnea,respiratory acidosis,CO2 narcosis and cor pulmonale :)

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