Respiratory failure is one of the most common and important entities treated by the critical care practitioner. Respiratory failure affects patients of all ages and can vary markedly in presentation. Episodes of respiratory failure may present as an acute crisis in a previously normal host (e.g., the patient sustains a flail chest after a motor vehicle accident), or as an acute exacerbation of a chronic disorder (an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]). Although the causes of respiratory failure are diverse, the pathophysiologic mechanisms and the approach to the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of respiratory failure are similar.
KeywordsRespiratory Failure Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Peak Expiratory Flow Rate Alveolar Ventilation Pump Failure
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