A new way to detect ventilator-induced lung injuries

There is clear evidence that lung injuries caused by ventilator machines can affect patients with previously healthy lungs – which can be a common scenario during general anesthesia.

When ventilator-induced lung injury happens, it is described as a form of mechanical damage which may to lead to a phenomenon called “tidal recruitment.” Tidal recruitment is difficult to detect clinically and experimentally without the use of advanced imaging techniques.

Currently, high-resolution CT scan is considered the gold standard method to detect this particular lung injury. This method is however, expensive, time consuming and cannot be applied at the bedside. Another unfavorable outcome from using CT scan—the patient is exposed to radiation.

A new study from the Critical Ultrasound Journal offers a way to diagnose tidal recruitment using lung ultrasound.

Lung ultrasound is considered a more attractive option to detect tidal recruitment in mechanically-ventilated patient. As opposed to CT, it is non-invasive, radiation-free and simple to use at the bedside. It also has a high sensitivity and specificity for detecting lung collapse.

The real-time nature of lung ultrasound images constitutes an important feature to detect this dynamic mechanism of ventilator-induced lung injuries during the respiratory cycle. It is also useful to evaluate the effects of ventilatory strategies, observed in the ultrasound images.

Lung ultrasound is able to detect tidal recruitment easily by capturing its dynamic nature with real-time imaging. It can potentially become a valuable monitoring tool to prevent ventilator-induced lung injuries at the bedside.

Read the full article here: Real-time images of tidal recruitment using lung ultrasound

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