Chronic airflow limitation

Many patients requiring ICU admission for a community acquired pneumonia have chronic respiratory failure. An acute exacerbation (which may or may not be infection-related) results in decompensation and symptomatic deterioration. Infections resulting in acute exacerbations include viruses, Haemophilus influenzae, Klebsiella and Staph. aureus in addition to Strep. pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Legionella pneumophila. Otherwise, patients with coincidental chronic airflow limitation (CAL) are admitted for other reasons or as a prophylactic measure in view of their limited respiratory function, e.g. for elective post-operative ventilation.

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