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Crit Care. 2003 Oct;7(5):342-4. Epub 2003 Jul 2.

ICU cornerstone: high frequency ventilation is here to stay.

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  • 1Pediatric and Neonatal ICU, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.


With favourable and extensive experience in the neonatal intensive care unit (ICU) and the recent positive experience in the adult ICU, high-frequency ventilation has become a valuable alternative to conventional ventilation in acute lung injury. To arrive at this point, physicians' understanding of the characteristics and kinetics of acute lung injury had to become more distinct, and it was necessary to merge accumulated knowledge from experience with high-frequency ventilation in the neonatal population and that with conventional ventilation in adults. However, this now calls for a better designed clinical trial in the adult population that combines the three most important concepts for lung protection: early intervention (before acute respiratory distress syndrome is established); optimal lung recruitment; and careful avoidance of lung over-distention over the entire period of mechanical ventilation.

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