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HOME > Acute Crit Care > Volume 18(2); 2003 > Article
Review Mechanical Ventilation in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Tae Hun An

Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, Korea.
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Patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may require mechanical ventilation following cardiac or general surgery, in connection with thoracic surgery such as lobectomy, wedge resection, lung reduction or bullectomy, during an episode of acute respiratory failure (ARF) secondary to a disease other than COPD such as sepsis, drug overdose, or trauma or for acute-on-chronic respiratory failure (the COPD exacerbation) where acute illness, usually presumed to be infectious in nature, destabilizes the characteristically compensated state. Ventilatory intervention is often life-saving when patients with asthma or COPD experience acute respiratory compromise. Although both noninvasive and invasive ventilation methods may be viable initial choice, which is better depends upon the severity of illness, the rapidity of response, coexisting disease, and capacity of the medical environment. In addition, noninvasive ventilation often relieves dyspnea and hypoxemia in patients with stable severe COPD. This review will only briefly cover noninvasive ventilation and focus primarily on the management of the intubated, mechanically ventilated patient with COPD, with particular emphasis on factors unique to this patient population such as the propensity for dynamic hyperinflation and auto-PEEP, barotrauma, difficult weaning and the prognosis following mechanical ventilation.

ACC : Acute and Critical Care