JOURNAL ARTICLE

Lung-protective ventilation and adjunctive strategies to manage respiratory failure: are they safe in the neurological patient?

Pirouz Piran, Robert D Stevens
Current Opinion in Critical Care 2021 January 18
33480618

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The coexistence of neurological injury and respiratory failure is common in intensive care. This article provides a contemporary overview of the safety and efficacy of different strategies for mechanical ventilation and adjunctive respiratory approaches in patients with acute brain injury.

RECENT FINDINGS: Available evidence indicates that lung-protective ventilation (LPV) can be implemented safely in a range of patients with concurrent respiratory failure and brain injury of different etiologies; however, the clinical efficacy of LPV in this setting needs to be established. In patients who have severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and brain injury, adjunctive measures (neuromuscular blocker drug infusions, prone positioning, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) may be considered, although the neurophysiological impact and safety of these techniques need further investigation. Intracranial pressure and other neuromonitoring techniques may be of value to ensure optimal management of mechanical ventilation and adjunctive measures in this population.

SUMMARY: Research is needed to determine the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of LPV and adjunctive approaches for managing patients with concurrent brain injury and respiratory failure.

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