What is the role of mechanical ventilation (MV) in the management of pneumomediastinum (PM)?

Updated: Feb 26, 2019
  • Author: Patrick L Carolan, MD; Chief Editor: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP  more...
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Although mechanical ventilation (MV) may cause air leaks, including pneumomediastinum, continuing the MV and even escalating respiratory support may be necessary depending on the severity of the underlying respiratory distress and the degree of compromise caused by the air leak. Principle objectives include the use of the lowest pressures or tidal volumes necessary to achieve satisfactory carbon dioxide removal and oxygenation. Permissive hypercapnia, a ventilatory strategy that is based on maintaining adequate oxygenation and blood pH while allowing high partial pressure of carbon dioxide, allows for ventilatory support while minimizing barotrauma.

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