oa Southern African Journal of Anaesthesia and Analgesia - "What knob is this?" - Intensive care unit ventilation for the non-intensivist : SASA refresher course text

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2220-1181
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1173



Indications for intensive care unit (ICU) mechanical ventilation differ from those for intraoperative mechanical ventilation. Always, the fundamental goal is the provision of life-sustaining oxygen saturation, with the avoidance of ventilator-induced trauma. Once past the initial stabilisation phase, a high priority must be placed on liberating the patient from mechanical ventilation. Encouraging patient-ventilator synchrony may accelerate this. Modern ICU ventilators have a number of modes and tools which may be useful in facilitating both initial mechanical ventilation optimisation and accelerate subsequent weaning, and these are generically reviewed within a discussion of the general conduct of ICU ventilation.

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