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Lower Tidal Volume May Cut Lung Injuries, JAMA Reveals  
10/24/2012 7:20:12 AM

Among patients without acute respiratory distress syndrome, protective mechanical ventilation with use of lower tidal volumes (the volume of air inhaled and exhaled during each breath) was associated with better outcomes including less lung injury, lower mortality, fewer pulmonary infections and a shorter hospital length of stay, according to a meta-analysis of previous studies, reported in the October 24/31 issue of JAMA. "Mechanical ventilation is a life-saving strategy in patients with acute respiratory failure. However, unequivocal evidence suggests that mechanical ventilation has the potential to aggravate and precipitate lung injury. In acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and in a milder form of ARDS formerly known as acute lung injury (ALI), mechanical ventilation can cause ventilator-associated lung injury," according to background information in the article. "Lung-protective mechanical ventilation with the use of lower tidal volumes has been found to improve outcomes of patients with ARDS. It has been suggested that use of lower tidal volumes also benefits patients who do not have ARDS."
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