Hypercapnia: Permissive, Therapeutic, or Not at All?

  • P. Hassett
  • M. Contreras
  • J. G. Laffey
Conference paper


In the past, hypercapnia and its concomitant hypercapnic acidosis, have been considered to be adverse, and were strictly avoided in the critically ill. Support for this approach derived from concerns regarding the link between hypercapnia and/or acidosis and adverse outcome in diverse clinical contexts, including cardiac arrest, sepsis, and neonatal asphyxia [1]. However, accumulating evidence from experimental and clinical studies demonstrates the potential for mechanical ventilation to directly injure the lungs — a phenomenon termed ‘ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI)’ — and has mandated a rethink of our approaches to hypercapnia.


Lung Injury Acute Lung Injury Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Respir Crit High Tidal Volume 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Hassett
    • 1
  • M. Contreras
    • 1
  • J. G. Laffey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiaClinical Sciences Institute National University of IrelandGalwayIreland

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