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Management of critically ill patients receiving noninvasive and invasive mechanical ventilation in the emergency department

Authors Rose L

Received 20 December 2011

Accepted for publication 2 February 2012

Published 22 March 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 5—15

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OAEM.S25048

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Louise Rose
Lawrence S Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Abstract: Patients requiring noninvasive and invasive ventilation frequently present to emergency departments, and may remain for prolonged periods due to constrained critical care services. Emergency clinicians often do not receive the same education on management of mechanical ventilation or have similar exposure to these patients as do their critical care colleagues. The aim of this review was to synthesize the evidence on management of patients requiring noninvasive and invasive ventilation in the emergency department including indications, clinical applications, monitoring priorities, and potential complications. Noninvasive ventilation is recommended for patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Less evidence supports its use in asthma and other causes of acute respiratory failure. Use of noninvasive ventilation in the prehospital setting is relatively new, and some evidence suggests benefit. Monitoring priorities for noninvasive ventilation include response to treatment, respiratory and hemodynamic stability, noninvasive ventilation tolerance, detection of noninvasive ventilation failure, and identification of air leaks around the interface. Application of injurious ventilation increases patient morbidity and mortality. Lung-protective ventilation with low tidal volumes based on determination of predicted body weight and control of plateau pressure has been shown to reduce mortality in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, and some evidence exists to suggest this strategy should be used in patients without lung injury. Monitoring of the invasively ventilated patient should focus on assessing response to mechanical ventilation and other interventions, and avoiding complications, such as ventilator-associated pneumonia. Several key aspects of management of noninvasive and invasively ventilated patients are discussed, with a particular emphasis on initiation and ongoing monitoring priorities focused on maintaining patient safety and improving patient outcomes.

Keywords: mechanical ventilation, emergency department, noninvasive ventilation, critical illness, acute respiratory failure

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