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Authors Chung KK, Rhie RY, Lundy JB, Cartotto R, Henderson E, Pressman MA, Joe VC, Aden JK, Driscoll IR, Faucher LD, McDermid RC, Mlcak RP, Hickerson WL, Jeng JC
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Journal J Burn Care Res Volume: 37 Issue: 2 Pages: e131-9
Publish Date 2016 Mar-Apr
PubMed ID 26135527

Burn injury introduces unique clinical challenges that make it difficult to extrapolate mechanical ventilator (MV) practices designed for the management of general critical care patients to the burn population. We hypothesize that no consensus exists among North American burn centers with regard to optimal ventilator practices. The purpose of this study is to examine various MV practice patterns in the burn population and to identify potential opportunities for future research. A researcher designed, 24-item survey was sent electronically to 129 burn centers. The χ, Fisher’s exact, and Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel tests were used to determine if there were significant differences in practice patterns. We analyzed 46 questionnaires for a 36% response rate. More than 95% of the burn centers reported greater than 100 annual admissions. Pressure support and volume assist control were the most common initial MV modes used with or without inhalation injury. In the setting of Berlin defined mild acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), ARDSNet protocol and optimal positive end-expiratory pressure were the top ventilator choices, along with fluid restriction/diuresis as a nonventilator adjunct. For severe ARDS, airway pressure release ventilation and neuromuscular blockade were the most popular. The most frequently reported time frame for mechanical ventilation before tracheostomy was 2 weeks (25 of 45, 55%); however, all respondents reported in the affirmative that there are certain clinical situations where early tracheostomy is warranted. Wide variations in clinical practice exist among North American burn centers. No single ventilator mode or adjunct prevails in the management of burn patients regardless of pulmonary insult. Movement toward American Burn Association-supported, multicenter studies to determine best practices and guidelines for ventilator management in burn patients is prudent in light of these findings. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System