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Ann Intensive Care ; 12(1): 35, 2022 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785171


BACKGROUND: External chest-wall compression (ECC) is sometimes used in ARDS patients despite lack of evidence. It is currently unknown whether this practice has any clinical benefit in patients with COVID-19 ARDS (C-ARDS) characterized by a respiratory system compliance (Crs) < 35 mL/cmH2O. OBJECTIVES: To test if an ECC with a 5 L-bag in low-compliance C-ARDS can lead to a reduction in driving pressure (DP) and improve gas exchange, and to understand the underlying mechanisms. METHODS: Eleven patients with low-compliance C-ARDS were enrolled and underwent 4 steps: baseline, ECC for 60 min, ECC discontinuation and PEEP reduction. Respiratory mechanics, gas exchange, hemodynamics and electrical impedance tomography were recorded. Four pigs with acute ARDS were studied with ECC to understand the effect of ECC on pleural pressure gradient using pleural pressure transducers in both non-dependent and dependent lung regions. RESULTS: Five minutes of ECC reduced DP from baseline 14.2 ± 1.3 to 12.3 ± 1.3 cmH2O (P < 0.001), explained by an improved lung compliance. Changes in DP by ECC were strongly correlated with changes in DP obtained with PEEP reduction (R2 = 0.82, P < 0.001). The initial benefit of ECC decreased over time (DP = 13.3 ± 1.5 cmH2O at 60 min, P = 0.03 vs. baseline). Gas exchange and hemodynamics were unaffected by ECC. In four pigs with lung injury, ECC led to a decrease in the pleural pressure gradient at end-inspiration [2.2 (1.1-3) vs. 3.0 (2.2-4.1) cmH2O, P = 0.035]. CONCLUSIONS: In C-ARDS patients with Crs < 35 mL/cmH2O, ECC acutely reduces DP. ECC does not improve oxygenation but it can be used as a simple tool to detect hyperinflation as it improves Crs and reduces Ppl gradient. ECC benefits seem to partially fade over time. ECC produces similar changes compared to PEEP reduction.

Crit Care ; 25(1): 106, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136238


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused unprecedented pressure on healthcare system globally. Lack of high-quality evidence on the respiratory management of COVID-19-related acute respiratory failure (C-ARF) has resulted in wide variation in clinical practice. METHODS: Using a Delphi process, an international panel of 39 experts developed clinical practice statements on the respiratory management of C-ARF in areas where evidence is absent or limited. Agreement was defined as achieved when > 70% experts voted for a given option on the Likert scale statement or > 80% voted for a particular option in multiple-choice questions. Stability was assessed between the two concluding rounds for each statement, using the non-parametric Chi-square (χ2) test (p < 0·05 was considered as unstable). RESULTS: Agreement was achieved for 27 (73%) management strategies which were then used to develop expert clinical practice statements. Experts agreed that COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is clinically similar to other forms of ARDS. The Delphi process yielded strong suggestions for use of systemic corticosteroids for critical COVID-19; awake self-proning to improve oxygenation and high flow nasal oxygen to potentially reduce tracheal intubation; non-invasive ventilation for patients with mixed hypoxemic-hypercapnic respiratory failure; tracheal intubation for poor mentation, hemodynamic instability or severe hypoxemia; closed suction systems; lung protective ventilation; prone ventilation (for 16-24 h per day) to improve oxygenation; neuromuscular blocking agents for patient-ventilator dyssynchrony; avoiding delay in extubation for the risk of reintubation; and similar timing of tracheostomy as in non-COVID-19 patients. There was no agreement on positive end expiratory pressure titration or the choice of personal protective equipment. CONCLUSION: Using a Delphi method, an agreement among experts was reached for 27 statements from which 20 expert clinical practice statements were derived on the respiratory management of C-ARF, addressing important decisions for patient management in areas where evidence is either absent or limited. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered with Clinical Identifier: NCT04534569.

COVID-19/complications , Consensus , Delphi Technique , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory Insufficiency/virology , Humans
Respir Care ; 66(3): 366-377, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724739


BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, a need for innovative, inexpensive, and simple ventilator devices for mass use has emerged. The Oxylator (CPR Medical Devices, Markham, Ontario, Canada) is an FDA-approved, fist-size, portable ventilation device developed for out-of-hospital emergency ventilation. It has not been tested in conditions of severe lung injury or with added PEEP. We aimed to assess the performance and reliability of the device in simulated and experimental conditions of severe lung injury, and to derive monitoring methods to allow the delivery of safe, individualized ventilation during situations of surge. METHODS: We bench-tested the functioning of the device with an added PEEP valve extensively, mimicking adult patients with various respiratory mechanics during controlled ventilation, spontaneous breathing, and prolonged unstable conditions where mechanics or breathing effort was changed at every breath. The device was further tested on a porcine model (4 animals) after inducing lung injury, and these results were compared with conventional ventilation modes. RESULTS: The device was stable and predictable, delivering a constant flow (30 L/min) and cycling automatically at the inspiratory pressure set (minimum of 20 cm H2O) above auto-PEEP. Changes in respiratory mechanics manifested as changes in respiratory timing, allowing prediction of tidal volumes from breathing frequency. Simulating lung injury resulted in relatively low tidal volumes (330 mL with compliance of 20 mL/cm H2O). In the porcine model, arterial oxygenation, CO2, and pH were comparable to conventional modes of ventilation. CONCLUSIONS: The Oxylator is a simple device that delivered stable ventilation with tidal volumes within a clinically acceptable range in bench and porcine lung models with low compliance. External monitoring of respiratory timing is advisable, allowing tidal volume estimation and recognition of changes in respiratory mechanics. The device can be an efficient, low-cost, and practical rescue solution for providing short-term ventilatory support as a temporary bridge, but it requires a caregiver at the bedside.

Respiratory Insufficiency , Ventilators, Mechanical , Benchmarking , COVID-19 , Equipment Design , Humans , Respiratory Insufficiency/therapy , Respiratory Mechanics , Tidal Volume , Treatment Outcome