Variability in Usual Care Mechanical Ventilation for Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Time for a Decision Support Protocol?

Christopher J L Newth, Katherine A Sward, Robinder G Khemani, Kent Page, Kathleen L Meert, Joseph A Carcillo, Thomas P Shanley, Frank W Moler, Murray M Pollack, Heidi J Dalton, David L Wessel, John T Berger, Robert A Berg, Rick E Harrison, Richard Holubkov, Allan Doctor, J Michael Dean, Tammara L Jenkins, Carol E Nicholson
Pediatric Critical Care Medicine 2017, 18 (11): e521-e529

OBJECTIVES: Although pediatric intensivists philosophically embrace lung protective ventilation for acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome, we hypothesized that ventilator management varies. We assessed ventilator management by evaluating changes to ventilator settings in response to blood gases, pulse oximetry, or end-tidal CO2. We also assessed the potential impact that a pediatric mechanical ventilation protocol adapted from National Heart Lung and Blood Institute acute respiratory distress syndrome network protocols could have on reducing variability by comparing actual changes in ventilator settings to those recommended by the protocol.

DESIGN: Prospective observational study.

SETTING: Eight tertiary care U.S. PICUs, October 2011 to April 2012.

PATIENTS: One hundred twenty patients (age range 17 d to 18 yr) with acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Two thousand hundred arterial and capillary blood gases, 3,964 oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry, and 2,757 end-tidal CO2 values were associated with 3,983 ventilator settings. Ventilation mode at study onset was pressure control 60%, volume control 19%, pressure-regulated volume control 18%, and high-frequency oscillatory ventilation 3%. Clinicians changed FIO2 by ±5 or ±10% increments every 8 hours. Positive end-expiratory pressure was limited at ~10 cm H2O as oxygenation worsened, lower than would have been recommended by the protocol. In the first 72 hours of mechanical ventilation, maximum tidal volume/kg using predicted versus actual body weight was 10.3 (8.5-12.9) (median [interquartile range]) versus 9.2 mL/kg (7.6-12.0) (p < 0.001). Intensivists made changes similar to protocol recommendations 29% of the time, opposite to the protocol's recommendation 12% of the time and no changes 56% of the time.

CONCLUSIONS: Ventilator management varies substantially in children with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Opportunities exist to minimize variability and potentially injurious ventilator settings by using a pediatric mechanical ventilation protocol offering adequately explicit instructions for given clinical situations. An accepted protocol could also reduce confounding by mechanical ventilation management in a clinical trial.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"