The effect of intermittent positive airway pressure to the non-ventilated lung was assessed in 10 patients who
desaturated during one-lung ventilation. Once their saturation fell below 95% they were given a slow inflation of
2 l/min of oxygen into the non-ventilated lung for two seconds. This was repeated every 10 seconds for five minutes
or until the saturation rose to 98%, whichever was sooner. The initial mean SpO2 was 89.3%±4.2%. All 10
patients had an increase in saturation. The mean saturation following intermittent positive airway pressure was
96.5%±1.6% (P <0.0001). Similarly, the mean oxygen tension rose from 67.2±12.8 mmHg to 98.9±19.8 mmHg.
Intermittent positive airway pressure should be considered for patients who desaturate while undergoing
one-lung ventilation.