Mechanical ventilation of severe acute asthma is still considered a challenging issue, mainly because of the gas trapping phenomenon with the potential for life-threatening barotraumatic pulmonary complications.Patient concerns:
Herein, we describe 2 consecutive cases of near-fatal asthma for whom the recommended protective mechanical ventilation approach using low tidal volume of 6 mL/kg and small levels of PEEP was rapidly compromised by giant pneumomediastinum with extensive subcutaneousemphysema.Diagnoses:
Near fatal asthma.Intervention:
A rescue therapeutic strategy combining extracorporeal CO2 removal membrane with ultra-protective extremely low tidal volume (3 mL/kg) ventilation was applied.Outcomes:
Both patients survived hospital discharge.Lessons:
These 2 cases indicate that ECCO2R associated with ultra-protective ventilation could be an alternative to surgery in case of life-threatening barotrauma occurring under mechanical ventilation.