Bedside Graphical Display of Lung Mechanics: A Clinical Experience of Use in the NICU

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Pulmonary function analysis by graphical display is becoming increasingly available to clinicians caring for newborn infants. Many of the currently available infant ventilators are able to provide this information in one form or another. Interpretation of these graphics in a ventilated newborn infant who is also making spontaneous effort can be challenging. There is a relative dearth of information that is directly applicable to the often bizarre appearances seen in tiny premature infants breathing out of synchrony with the ventilator. This is an area where there is a need for sharing of experience and dissemination of information for better education for all involved in providing care for newborn infants. We present our observational experience of analyses of pulmonary graphics displayed by infants on a tertiary intensive care unit (ICU). We highlight what we believe are significant differences in the graphical displays between pediatric and adult patients and newborn infants. We also present some clinical situations, commonly faced in the neonatal ICU (NICU), where we have found the use of pulmonary graphics particularly useful.

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