How is positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) used for treatment of respiratory failure?

Updated: Apr 07, 2020
  • Author: Ata Murat Kaynar, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

In patients with disorders such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or acute lung injury (ALI), PEEP is applied to recruit atelectatic alveoli, thereby improving oxygenation and allowing a reduction in FiO2 to nontoxic levels (< 0.6). Applying PEEP of 3-5 cm water to prevent a decrease in functional residual capacity in patients with normal lungs is a common practice.


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