Commoner ICU causes


Cerebrovascular accident, drugs (e.g. opiates, sedatives), raised intracranial pressure, trauma

Brainstem/spinal cord

Trauma (at or above phrenic level), tetanus, Pickwickian syndrome, motor neurone disease


Guillain-Barre, critical illness polyneuropathy


Muscle relaxants, organophosphorus poisoning, myasthenia gravis

Chest wall/muscular

Flail chest, heart failure, myopathy (including critical illness and disuse myopathy)


Upper airways obstruction, airway disruption, asthma, anaphylaxis


Pneumonia, ARDS, fibrosis, pulmonary oedema


Pneumothorax, pleural effusion, haemothorax


Pulmonary embolus, heart failure, Eisenmenger intracardiac shunt

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