Monitoring During Mechanical Ventilation.
Mechanical ventilation is an indispensable form of life support for patients undergoing general anesthesia or experiencing respiratory failure in the setting of critical illness. These patients are at risk for a number of complications related to both their underlying disease states and the mechanical ventilation itself. Intensive monitoring is required to identify early signs of clinical worsening and to minimize the risk of iatrogenic harm. Pulse oximetry and capnography are used to ensure that appropriate oxygenation and ventilation are achieved and maintained. Assessments of driving pressure, transpulmonary pressure, and the pressure-volume loop are performed to ensure that adequate PEEP is applied and excess distending pressure is minimized. Finally, monitoring and frequent adjustment of airway cuff pressures is performed to minimize the risk of airway injury and ventilator-associated pneumonia. We will discuss monitoring during mechanical ventilation with a focus on the accuracy, ease of use, and effectiveness in preventing harm for each of these monitoring modalities.
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