Alarms from the ventilator: Troubleshooting high peak pressures

VentilatorAirway management is one of the defining skills of an emergency physician, but our role in the care of intubated patients may continue long after endotracheal tube placement is confirmed. In mechanically ventilated patients, acute elevations in airways pressures can be triggered by both benign and life-threatening causes. When the ventilator alarms, do you know how to tell the difference? What is your approach in troubleshooting the potential problems?

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Critical Care Series by new ALiEM writer Dr. Todd Seigel

SEIGEL Photo squareWelcome a new superstar blogger, Dr. Todd Seigel (@ToddSeigelMD), to the ever-growing ALiEM team. I first met Todd at the recent Society of Academic Emergency Medicine meeting. At that time, he was an already established clinician-scholar-educator at Brown University. He had already graduated from residency and was returning to fellowship training to get his board-certification in Critical Care Medicine. I’m thrilled that he is now at my home institution (UCSF) doing this fellowship, where I couldn’t resist recruiting him to join our all-star cast of blog authors. Today is the first of hopefully a long series of critical care/resuscitation topics that are practically relevant for all practicing emergency physicians.

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By |2016-11-11T19:02:41-08:00Jul 30, 2013|Critical Care/ Resus|