Lung-protective ventilation for the surgical patient: international expert panel-based consensus recommendations

British Journal of Anaesthesia
Christopher C YoungJ Sprung


Postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs) occur frequently and are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Evidence suggests that reduction of PPCs can be accomplished by using lung-protective ventilation strategies intraoperatively, but a consensus on perioperative management has not been established. We sought to determine recommendations for lung protection for the surgical patient at an international consensus development conference. Seven experts produced 24 questions concerning preoperative assessment and intraoperative mechanical ventilation for patients at risk of developing PPCs. Six researchers assessed the literature using questions as a framework for their review. The modified Delphi method was utilised by a team of experts to produce recommendations and statements from study questions. An expert consensus was reached for 22 recommendations and four statements. The following are the highlights: (i) a dedicated score should be used for preoperative pulmonary risk evaluation; and (ii) an individualised mechanical ventilation may improve the mechanics of breathing and respiratory function, and prevent PPCs. The ventilator should initially be set to a tidal volume of 6-8 ml kg-1 predicted body weight and...Continue Reading


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