Clinical Management Strategies for Airway Pressure Release Ventilation: A Survey of Clinical Practice.
BACKGROUND: Airway pressure release ventilation (APRV) is a commonly used mode of ventilation designed to increase mean airway pressure and thus oxygenation. Different strategies for clinical management have been described in the literature but are largely based on physiologic concepts, animal data, and small clinical trials. The purpose of this study was to determine how APRV is currently managed by surveying practicing respiratory therapists with experience using APRV. METHODS: A 15-item survey was developed by the authors and posted on the AARConnect online media platform in January 2016 after being declared exempt by our institution's institutional review board. Survey questions were derived from a literature review of recommended APRV settings. Responses were limited to one per institution. RESULTS: The survey was completed by 60 respondents who used APRV. Of the 4 key initial APRV settings (P high, P low, T high, and T low), there was good agreement among survey responders and published guidelines for setting initial T high (4-6 s) and initial P low (0 cm H2O). There was some disagreement regarding initial P high, with 48% of responders matching P high to conventional ventilation plateau pressures but another 31% using conventional ventilation mean airway pressure plus 2-5 cm H2O. The most disagreement was with the T low setting, with only 47% of survey responders agreeing with published guidelines about using the expiratory flow signal to set T low. There was good agreement among survey responders and published guidelines for what changes to make when gas exchange was outside of the targeted range. A substantial number of respondents accepted P high and APRV release volumes that may exceed lung-protective limits. CONCLUSIONS: There is only limited consensus among practitioners for initial APRV settings, probably reflecting the paucity of good clinical outcome data and confusion surrounding the physiology of this mode.
Miller, AG; Gentile, MA; Davies, JD; MacIntyre, NR
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