PMID: 7992934Jan 1, 1994Paper

Risk evaluation of oxygen desaturation after buprenorphine or morphine administration during the early postoperative period

Annales Françaises D'anesthèsie Et De Rèanimation
C BasdevantM Fischler


The purpose of this study, conducted in a PACU in the early recovery period of orthopaedic procedures under general anaesthesia, was to compare the time course of O2 arterial saturation (SpO2), measured by pulse oximetry, after the intramuscular administration of either buprenorphine (0.30 mg) or morphine (10 mg). The rate of patients who had an episode of O2 desaturation (defined as a SpO2 under 95%) was similar in both groups: 73% after buprenorphine vs 67% after morphine. The cumulative duration of desaturation episodes was higher following buprenorphine (p < 10(-5). Finally, in patients who had at least one episode of arterial desaturation, the mean duration of these episodes was identical in both groups. However the average number of episodes per patient was significantly higher in the buprenorphine group. These results should lead us to be cautious with the use of buprenorphine during the early recovery period, especially as this as this agent has specific characteristics such as a long duration of action and resistance to naloxone.

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