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Review of laryngospasm and noncardiogenic pulmonary edema

Heather Ead
Dynamics: the Official Journal of the Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses 2003, 14 (3): 9-12
Laryngospasm is an emergency situation that requires rapid identification and resolution of the obstructed glottis. Although there is a low incidence of laryngospasm, it is important to remember that any patient has the potential for post-extubation laryngospasm. Nurses must know about the causes, risk factors and treatment for this respiratory emergency. This includes the plan of care and possible medications administered to assist in restoring the patient's airway. Nurses must be able to respond quickly to avoid complications such as noncardiogenic pulmonary edema (NCPE) and respiratory arrest. The triggers, signs and symptoms, and treatment of NCPE are also reviewed. Due to the risk of laryngospasm recurring or NCPE presenting itself, any patient who has had laryngospasm needs close monitoring for two to three hours after the laryngospasm has resolved. It is important for nurses to review the interventions for laryngospasm and NCPE prior to caring for a patient with this respiratory emergency.


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