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Safety and efficacy of a sustained inflation for alveolar recruitment in adults with respiratory failure

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Objective: To assess the safety and efficacy of a sustained inflation, used as a lung volume recruitment maneuver in ventilated patients with hypoxemic respiratory failure.¶Design: Prospective data collection as part of a quality assurance program following introduction of a lung volume recruitment guideline in the intensive care unit.¶Setting: Academic medical-surgical critical care unit.¶Patients: Hypoxemic patients with bilateral pulmonary infiltrates. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary barotrauma and hemodynamic instability were excluded.¶Interventions: A sustained inflation using a pressure of 30 to 45 cmH2O was applied for 20 s. The pressure was determined as the lesser of 45 cmH2O or the peak pressure while ventilated at a tidal volume of 12 ml/kg. Intra-arterial blood pressure and pulse oximetry were monitored continuously.¶Measurements and results: Significant improvement in oxygenation occurred in the majority of patients within 10 min. The mean oxygen saturation improved from 86.9 ± 5.5 to 94.3 ± 2.3 % (p < 0.01). No significant adverse effects were noted: hypotension and mild oxygen desaturation occurred in some patients during the 20-s inflation, reversing rapidly after inflation was terminated. No barotrauma occurred.¶Conclusions: A sustained inflation is a safe, clinically applicable method of lung volume recruitment which improves oxygenation in selected patients and may have a role in ventilatory management.

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Received: 12 February 1999/Accepted: 8 September 1999

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Lapinsky, S., Aubin, M., Mehta, S. et al. Safety and efficacy of a sustained inflation for alveolar recruitment in adults with respiratory failure. Intensive Care Med 25, 1297–1301 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001340051061

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  • Key words Mechanical ventilation
  • Respiratory distress syndrome, adult
  • Lung physiopathology
  • ¶Lung recruitment