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barbiturate comaThe use of barbiturates (e.g., pentobarbital) to induce a loss of consciousness, which has a secondary or “double” effect of inducing hypoxia and respiratory failure.
barbiturate comaMedical ethics The use of barbiturates–eg, pentobarbital, to induce a loss of consciousness, which has a 2º–'double' effect of inducing hypoxia and respiratory failure. See Euthanasia, Physician-assisted suicide.
The patient usually requires intubation and mechanical ventilation. Ventilatory status and oxygenation are monitored, adequate ventilation is maintained, and pulmonary toilet is provided. Aseptic technique is used for all procedures to prevent nosocomial infections.