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Complications From Recruitment Maneuvers in Patients With Acute Lung Injury: Secondary Analysis From the Lung Open Ventilation Study

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BACKGROUND: There are limited data on the safety and efficacy of recruitment maneuvers (RMs) in acute lung injury (ALI) patients. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the frequency, timing, and risk factors for complications from RMs in adult ALI patients. METHODS: Secondary analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial of a lung open ventilation strategy that included sustained inflation RMs. RESULTS: Respiratory (eg, desaturation) and cardiovascular (eg, hypotension) complications from recruitment maneuvers were common (22% of all patients receiving RMs), and the majority occurred within 7 days of enrollment. New air leak through an existing chest tube was uncommon (< 5%). As compared to patients receiving 1 or fewer RMs, the number of RMs received was associated with increased risk in both younger (age ≤ 56 y) and older patients (age > 56 y): 2 RMs odds ratio [OR] 6.92 (95% CI 1.70‐28.2), ≥ 3 RMs OR 15.4 (95% CI 4.77‐49.6), and 2 RMs OR 5.43 (95% CI 1.76‐16.8), ≥ 3 RMs OR 4.93 (95% CI 1.78‐13.7), respectively. Patients with extrapulmonary ALI had decreased odds of developing complications (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.22‐0.80). CONCLUSIONS: Complications in adult ALI patients receiving RMs were common, but serious complications (eg, new air leak through an existing chest tube) were infrequent. There is a significant association between the number of RMs received and complications, even after controlling for illness severity and duration. Given their uncertain benefit in ALI patients, and the potential for complications with repeated application, the routine use of sustained inflation RMs is not justified.

Keywords: adult; artificial; critical care; lung recruitment; recruitment maneuvers; respiration; respiratory distress syndrome

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4187/respcare.01684

Affiliations: Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: November 1, 2012

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