Mechanical Ventilation for COVID-19 Patients

Link to article at PubMed

Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2022 Jun;43(3):405-416. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-1744305. Epub 2022 Apr 19.


Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) or invasive mechanical ventilation (MV) is frequently needed in patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. While NIV can be delivered in hospital wards and nonintensive care environments, intubated patients require intensive care unit (ICU) admission and support. Thus, the lack of ICU beds generated by the pandemic has often forced the use of NIV in severely hypoxemic patients treated outside the ICU. In this context, awake prone positioning has been widely adopted to ameliorate oxygenation during noninvasive respiratory support. Still, the incidence of NIV failure and the role of patient self-induced lung injury on hospital outcomes of COVID-19 subjects need to be elucidated. On the other hand, endotracheal intubation is indicated when gas exchange deterioration, muscular exhaustion, and/or neurological impairment ensue. Yet, the best timing for intubation in COVID-19 is still widely debated, as it is the safest use of neuromuscular blocking agents. Not differently from other types of acute respiratory distress syndrome, the aim of MV during COVID-19 is to provide adequate gas exchange while avoiding ventilator-induced lung injury. At the same time, the use of rescue therapies is advocated when standard care is unable to guarantee sufficient organ support. Nevertheless, the general shortage of health care resources experienced during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic might affect the utilization of high-cost, highly specialized, and long-term supports. In this article, we describe the state-of-the-art of NIV and MV setting and their usage for acute hypoxemic respiratory failure of COVID-19 patients.

PMID:35439831 | DOI:10.1055/s-0042-1744305

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