Independent lung ventilation in the management of traumatic bronchopleural fistula

Cheatham, Michael L.; Promes, John T.
June 2006
American Surgeon;Jun2006, Vol. 72 Issue 6, p530
Academic Journal
journal article
Independent lung ventilation (ILV) is a technique for managing patients with unilateral lung disease or injury who have failed conventional mechanical ventilation. A 20-year-old man sustained severe ballistic injuries to the chest and abdomen. Damage control laparotomy controlled the patient's initial hemorrhage, however, an evolving cavitary pulmonary lesion subsequently developed into a high-volume bronchopleural fistula. Progressive atelectasis of the damaged lung resulted in profound hypoxemia and hypercarbia refractory to conventional mechanical ventilation. Synchronous ILV was initiated using a double-lumen endotracheal tube and two ventilators titrated to optimize the patient's oxygenation and ventilation and minimize ventilator-induced lung injury. Intensive ILV over the next 17 days resulted in recruitment of the atelectatic right lung, resolution of the bronchopleural fistula, and significant improvement in oxygenation and pulmonary compliance. This appears to be the longest reported use of ILV for traumatic lung injury.


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