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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2015 September;81(9):1031-40


language: English

Safe mechanical ventilation in patients without acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)

Pannu S. R. 1, Hubmayr R. D. 2

1 Department of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy, Ohio State University, Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA; 2 Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA


Insights into the pathogenesis of lung deformation injury inspired a benchmark clinical trial, which demonstrated that reducing tidal volumes compared to previous norms was associated with improved patient survival in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Since many critically ill patients without ARDS possess ventilator associated lung injury (VALI) risk factors, there is no need to expose them to tidal volumes that are larger than would be needed to achieve acceptable blood gas tensions. In the following perspective we will argue that lung protection from deformation injury should guide ventilator management in all patients, irrespective of the presence of ARDS. That is not to say that all lung diseases share the same VALI risk, but we contend that adopting a low tidal ventilation strategy is a simple and safe starting point in most instances. We will review studies in the medical and surgical literature that have addressed “lung protective ventilation” in patients without ARDS and summarize them with a focus on tidal volume, positive end expiratory pressure and oxygen supplementation settings. In addition, we will briefly discuss under what circumstance one might consider deviating from a conventional approach.

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Cite this article as

Pannu SR, Hubmayr RD. Safe mechanical ventilation in patients without acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Minerva Anestesiol 2015 September;81(9):1031-40. 

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