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May 3, 2000

Treatment of Postoperative Respiratory Failure

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor


Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

JAMA. 2000;283(17):2239-2240. doi:10.1001/jama.283.17.2235

To the Editor: Dr Antonelli and colleagues1 report that in patients with acute respiratory failure following solid organ transplantation, noninvasive ventilation (NIV) compared with standard care reduces rates of endotracheal intubation, length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), rates of fatal complications, and ICU mortality. In the study, standard care consisted of oxygen supplementation with a Venturi mask. We believe, however, that in patients with postoperative respiratory failure, mere supplementation with oxygen is not adequate care. Especially after major surgery, standard care in patients with respiratory failure also should include lung expansion maneuvers, such as application of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and deep-breathing exercises.2 Thus, this study might be interpreted as showing that inadequate care of patients with respiratory failure is harmful.

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