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Critical Care  2009 

Core Topics in Mechanical Ventilation

DOI: 10.1186/cc7951

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The contents of Core Topics in Mechanical Ventilation edited by Ian Mackenzie can be separated into two general parts. Several chapters cover general respiratory physiology, which is essential to understand how mechanical ventilation works and interacts with cardio-respiratory performance. It is worth mentioning the good contributions on the physiology of gas exchange, carbon dioxide balance and cardio-respiratory interactions. Some chapters are dedicated to adjuncts of mechanical ventilation, including both general and custom adjuncts used in mechanically ventilated patients. Of note are the chapters dedicated to the effects and administration of oxygen and heliox, and to sedation, analgesia, paralysis and nutrition.The second part is devoted to mechanical ventilation. The reader can find recommendations about how to set the ventilator in several clinical scenarios such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chest, burn and blast injuries. One specific chapter is devoted to adverse effects and complications of mechanical ventilation. This chapter deals in a very comprehensive manner with management of the difficult airway, unplanned extubation and how to minimize and manage ventilation-induced lung injury (barotrauma, volutrauma, and atelectrauma), among others. The management of acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome are not covered in dedicated chapters, but major principles are included as paragraphs in distinct parts of the book. The same is the case for non-invasive mechanical ventilation, which nowadays can be considered an independent discipline that extends beyond anesthesia and intensive care departments. Three chapters deserve mention for their particular relevance: Management of the artificial airway, Modes of mechanical ventilation, and Mechanical ventilation for transport. These chapters are extensive and comprehensive and include technical documentation as well as tables and figures that are self-explanatory. I am als


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