Ventilator trauma

The term barotrauma relates to gas escape into cavities and interstitial tissues during IPPV. Barotrauma is a misnomer since it is probably the distending volume and high shear stress that is responsible rather than pressure. It is most likely to occur with high VT and high PEEP. It occurs in IPPV and conditions associated with lung overinflation (e.g. asthma). Tension pneumothorax is life threatening and should be suspected in any patient on IPPV who becomes suddenly agitated, tachycardic, hypotensive or exhibits sudden deterioration in their blood gases. An immediate chest drainage tube should be inserted if tension pneumothorax develops. Prevention of ventilator trauma relies on avoidance of high VT and high airway pressures.

Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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