Is there a “right” way to wean my patient from the ventilator? A critical appraisal of Randolph et al: Effect of mechanical ventilator weaning protocols on respiratory outcomes in infants and children: A randomized controlled trial (JAMA 2002; 288:2561–2568)


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Abstract

Objective:To review the findings and discuss the implications of mechanical ventilator weaning protocols in children.Design:A critical appraisal of Randolph et al. Effect of mechanical ventilator weaning protocols on respiratory outcomes in infants and children: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2002;288:2561–2568, and literature review.Findings:There was no difference in ventilator weaning times between children randomized to a ventilator weaning protocol (pressure support, volume support, or no protocol). However, the study did show that increased sedative use during the first 24 hrs of weaning (the only time during which these data were collected) was an important predictor of weaning duration (p < .001) and weaning failure (p = .04).Conclusions:The majority of children are weaned from mechanical ventilation over a short period of time. Weaning protocols may not shorten this brief duration of weaning but may have other advantages such as improved collaboration between healthcare team members. Future research into the effects of sedation on weaning from mechanical ventilation is needed in children.

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