250,000 patients annually are mechanically ventilated in US Emergency Departments (ED).
Of these patients, 20% develop complications such as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) or other ventilator associated conditions (VACs) like pneumonia.
It has been shown that ventilator associated injury can occur shortly after initiating mechanical ventilation. Can we prevent these complications and improve patient outcomes in the ICU by initiating a lung protective strategy in the ED?
Fuller BM, Ferguson I, Mohr NM et al. Lung-protective ventilation initiated in the emergency department (LOV-ED): a study protocol for a quasi-experimental, before-after trial aimed at reducing pulmonary complications. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2017; 70(3): 406-418
Head of bed elevation to 30 degrees
This quasi-experimental study implemented an ED targeted strategy for lung-protective mechanical ventilation.
Tape measures were used to accurately measure the height for the patients before referencing the ARDSnet table to adequately set a tidal volume.
RR was set at 20-30 breaths per minute (unless a different rate was deemed appropriate by the emergency physician). After these settings were established in the ED, the patient’s hospital course was followed prospectively.
In this study’s intervention group, lung-protective ventilation increased by 48.8%.
The primary outcomes studied were ARDS and other VACs.
Primary outcomes seen in 14.5% of the pre-intervention group compared to 7.4% of the intervention group.
Absolute risk reduction of ARDS and VACs of 7.1%.
Mortality rate was 34.1% in the pre-intervention group, compared to 19.6% in the intervention group.
Increase in ventilator-free days, ICU-free days and hospital-free days in the intervention group.
Will this study change my clinical practice? Yes.
This study helped me see the following:
A tape measure is a necessary item in the ED so that adequate tidal volumes can be delivered, rather than guessing an inadequate tidal volume.
Start with a lower FiO2 and adjust to the patient’s needs rather than starting at 100% and titrating down. (Adjust PEEP too as needed to help with oxygenation)
I may be underestimating the respiratory rate needs of my patients.