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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2001 Dec;32(6):459-70.

Management of oxygenation in pediatric acute hypoxemic respiratory failure.

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Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.


The prognosis for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in adults and children has improved since its formal acceptance as a clinical entity in 1967. Because acute hypoxemic respiratory failure is the hallmark of acute lung injury and ARDS, the management of oxygenation is crucial. Physicians managing pediatric patients with acute lung injury or ARDS are faced with a complex array of options influencing oxygenation. Certain treatment strategies can influence clinical outcomes, such as a lung-protective ventilation strategy that specifies a low tidal volume (6 mL/kg) and a plateau pressure limit (30 cm H(2)O) (Acute Respiratory Distress Network, N Engl J Med 2000;342:1301-1308). Other lung-protective strategies such as different levels of positive end-expiratory pressure, altered inspiratory:expiratory ratios, recruitment maneuvers, prone positioning, and extraneous gases or drugs may impact clinical outcomes but require further clinical study. This paper reviews state-of-the-art strategies on the management of oxygenation in acute hypoxemic respiratory failure and attempts to guide pediatric pulmonologists in managing children with respiratory failure.

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