What are the initial ventilation strategies in congestive heart failure?

Updated: Apr 07, 2020
  • Author: Allon Amitai, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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CHF responds very well to positive-pressure ventilation, which serves the dual role of opening alveoli and reducing preload. Many patients with CHF benefit from a trial of noninvasive CPAP or BiPAP. Some of these patients will clinically improve so rapidly that admitting services may request discontinuation of noninvasive ventilatory support, but great caution must be maintained if this is attempted, as fluid may unpredictably reaccumulate, resulting in hypoxia and respiratory failure.

Intubated patients usually manage to adequately oxygenate. PEEP can be increased as tolerated to improve oxygenation and reduce preload. However, in some patients, cardiac output can be particularly dependent on preload and such patients may easily develop postintubation hypotension. Management of this common complication includes a combination of fluid therapy, discontinuation of nitroglycerin or other medical therapies, and, if necessary, medical or mechanical hemodynamic support interventions. [22]

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