What complications may occur in mechanically ventilated patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Eloise M Harman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

Patients with ARDS often require high-intensity mechanical ventilation, including high levels of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and, possibly, high mean airway pressures; thus, barotrauma may occur. Patients present with pneumomediastinum, pneumothorax, or both. Other potential complications that may occur in these mechanically ventilated patients include accidental extubation and right mainstem intubation.


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