How do initial ventilator settings vary according to patient condition?

Updated: Apr 07, 2020
  • Author: Allon Amitai, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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In the ED setting, patients frequently require full respiratory support. For most ED patients who are paralyzed as a component of rapid-sequence induction, CMV and A/C are good choices as an initial ventilatory mode. SIMV may be better tolerated in nonparalyzed patients with obstructive airway disease and an intact respiratory effort. PSV can be used when respiratory effort is intact and respiratory failure is not severe. [11]

Noninvasive ventilation (CPAP, BiPAP) can be used effectively in many cases of severe COPD and CHF to avoid tracheal intubation. Initial ventilator settings are guided by the patient's pulmonary pathophysiology and clinical status. Adjustments can then be made to limit barotrauma, volutrauma, and oxygen toxicity. CPAP and BiPAP require alert, cooperative patients capable of independently maintaining their airways and are contraindicated in the presence of facial trauma.

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