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Traditionally, endotracheal intubation has been used as a treatment for patients with respiratory failure who require mechanical ventilation. Although intubation can be lifesaving, it is also associated with significant morbidity.1 Immunocompromised patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure are at particularly high risk; these patients often require high levels of ventilatory support (ie, positive end-expiratory pressure [PEEP] and fractions of inspired oxygen [Fio2]). Intubated patients usually require sedative medications, analgesic agents, or both and are at risk for many complications seen in the intensive care unit (ICU), such as ventilator-associated pneumonia, ICU-acquired weakness,2 venous thromboembolism,3 delirium, and cognitive dysfunction.4 As such, these patients typically have a high associated mortality, estimated at approximately 50%.5
Patel BK, Kress JP. The Changing Landscape of Noninvasive Ventilation in the Intensive Care Unit. JAMA. 2015;314(16):1697–1699. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.12401
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