Invasive and noninvasive pediatric mechanical ventilation.
Both invasive and noninvasive mechanical ventilation techniques are inherent to the care of most patients admitted to intensive care units. Despite the everyday use of mechanical ventilation for thousands of patients and the availability of thousands of reports in the medical literature, there are no clear and consistent guidelines for the use of mechanical ventilation for pediatric patients. In many areas data are lacking, and in other areas data are extrapolated from studies performed with adult subjects. Despite the variability in views about mechanical ventilation, 2 themes are consistent. First, modern pediatric respiratory care requires a substantial institutional commitment for state-of-the-art management of the mechanically ventilated patient. Second, a team approach involving physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists is essential. This review highlights some of the major issues affecting the pediatric patient who requires invasive or noninvasive mechanical ventilation. These issues are pertinent to critical care clinicians because one of the most common reasons for admission to an intensive care unit is the need for mechanical ventilation. Furthermore, the duration of mechanical ventilation is one of the major determinants of the duration and cost of an intensive care unit stay.
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