John J. Marini, MD; Bruce H. Culver, MD
Most forms of barotrauma related to mechanical ventilation are known to occur in both adult and pediatric patients. The pressure-driven transfer of gas from the alveolar compartment to the systemic circulation, a devastating complication of ventilatory support in infants, is not generally recognized as a consequence of ventilatory support in adults. Two young adult patients who received ventilatory support with high levels of positive pressure for pneumonia and the adult respiratory distress syndrome developed massive sub-pleural air cysts, interstitial emphysema, and tension pneumothoraces. Despite receiving appropriate treatment for these problems, the patients had recurrent episodes of cerebral infarction, myocardial injury,
Marini JJ, Culver BH. Systemic Gas Embolism Complicating Mechanical Ventilation in the Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Ann Intern Med. ;110:699–703. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-110-9-699
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1989;110(9):699-703.
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