High-Frequency Oscillatory Ventilators in Burn Patients: Experience of Riley Hospital for Children


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Abstract

The objective of the study is to review a single institution’s experience with high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) and compare patient characteristics, outcomes, and complications with other reported studies of HFOV use in burn patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome and respiratory failure. This study is a retrospective chart review of the burn patients treated with HFOV in Pediatric Burn Unit at Riley Hospital for Children from October 1996 to April 2007. Patient data were collected, including demographics, percentage of TBSA burn, percentage of full-thickness burn, mechanisms of burn, settings on conventional mechanical ventilation and HFOV, and blood gas data before initiation of HFOV and at 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, 72 (3 days), 120 (5 days), 168 (7 days), 240 (10 days), and 336 hours (14 days). Length of stay, mortality, and complications were also included. HFOV was used 24 times in 21 patients between October 1996 and April 2007 with a mean age of 10 ± 11 years. At initiation of HFOV, the PaO2/FiO2 and oxygenation index values were 109 ± 26 and 36 ± 12, respectively. At stop, the PaO2/FiO2 improved to 166 ± 24 with an average increase from before HFOV of 57 ± 39 (P < .002). At 5 days of HFOV, oxygenation index improved to 14.1 ± 1.7 (P < .02) but did not significantly improve at discontinuation of HFOV at 28.8 ± 6.2 (P = .11). The mortality rate during admission to the burn unit was 29%. Barotrauma occurred in 38% of patients during HFOV. Severe hypercapnea was present briefly in 49% of patients, and this was refractory to standard treatment in 19%. In our experience, HFOV in severe burn patients has significant, early, and sustained improvement in oxygenation. Earlier institution of HFOV seems to significantly lower rates of barotraumas.

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