Use of Non-Partitioned Ventilator Tubing Results in Dead-Space Ventilation Hypercarbia

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We present a case of severe postoperative hypercarbia in a patient with severe COPD. Hypercarbia and respiratory acidosis continued to increase despite maximal ventilation, bronchodilator therapy, sedation, and paralysis. Mistaken use of non-partitioned ventilator circuit was the cause of the hypercarbia. The ventilator's self-test function failed to detect the error. We changed to a partitioned-lumen circuit, with much less ventilation dead space, and the hypercarbia resolved immediately.

Keywords: COPD; PaCO2; dead space; hypercarbia; partitioned-lumen ventilator tubing

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Anesthesiology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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