Ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis

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Ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis (VAT) has the same clinical implications as ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). An observational study of 28 patients with VAT and 83 patients with VAP [1] showed that VAT groups had a similar length of intensive care unit stay, length of hospital stay, duration of mechanical ventilation, survival rate to discharge, need for tracheostomy, and need for antibiotics.

Ventilator induced diaphragmatic atrophy

Controlled mechanical ventilation can lead to a very rapid type of disuse atrophy involving the diaphragmatic muscle fibers. An observational study found that diaphragmatic strength decreased progressively during mechanical ventilation and that long-term (>24 hours) mechanical ventilation was associated with diaphragmatic muscle injury, atrophy, and proteolysis compared to short-term mechanical ventilation (2-3 hours).(2)

Starting enteral nutrition in a patient on ventilator

Starting enteral nutrition with a low infusion rate improves tolerability, compared to initiation at the target rate. A randomized study of 200 mechanically ventilated patients showed that enteral feeding ( at the target rate or at 10 mL/hr for six days before being incrementally increased to the target rate) showed no differences in mortality, ventilator-free days, or ICU-free days, but the group that began at the target rate had more episodes of elevated gastric residual volumes and a trend toward more diarrhea. (3)

1. Dallas J, Skrupky L, Abebe N, et al. Ventilator-associated tracheobronchitis in a mixed surgical and medical ICU population. Chest 2011;139:513-8.
2. Jaber S, Petrof BJ, Jung B, et al. Rapidly progressive diaphragmatic weakness and injury during mechanical ventilation in humans. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2011;183:364-71.
3. Rice TW, Mogan S, Hays MA, et al. Randomized trial of initial trophic versus full-energy enteral nutrition in mechanically ventilated patients with acute respiratory failure. Crit Care Med 2011;39:967-74.

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