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AACN Clin Issues Crit Care Nurs. 1994 Aug;5(3):246-54.

Liquid ventilation: it's not science fiction anymore.


Liquid ventilation is, by all initial considerations, an unconventional concept. Decades of research, however, have found that by using perfluorocarbons, which are capable of holding high concentrations of critical gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide, gas exchange optimal enough to support life is possible with no known toxic effects. The earliest method of liquid ventilation, tidal liquid breathing, involved infusion and active removal of tidal volumes of perfluorocarbons by a liquid ventilator for gas exchange. Recently, a new method of partial liquid breathing, called perfluorocarbon-associated gas exchange, makes the process of liquid ventilation simpler by using conventional gas ventilators. Current research is showing great promise in the use of liquid ventilation for patients with pulmonary pathology. Critical care nurses should become knowledgeable of this new mode of ventilation and be prepared to meet the special needs of this unique population.

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