STRATEGIES OF INVASIVE VENTILATORY SUPPORT IN ARDS
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Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in intensive care units. For the most part, the mortality of this syndrome has arguably not decreased since the syndrome was originally described. One of the major reasons for this lack of reduction in mortality may be related to adherence to more traditional ventilatory strategies that have the potential to cause ventilator-induced lung injury. Ventilator strategies that attempt to limit ventilator-induced lung injury and accept permissive hypercapnia have successfully demonstrated a marked reduction in mortality in uncontrolled settings. So encouraging are these reductions that there has been a subtle shift in philosophy of mechanical ventilation toward using lung-protective ventilatory strategies at all times. With broad acceptance of this shift in philosophy, and the use of recently standardized clinical definitions for controlled studies, we optimistically anticipate improved mortality rates for acute respiratory distress syndrome.
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