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Invited Commentary
November 2016

Overnight Extubation in Patients With Mechanical Ventilation: Is It Harmful?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Division of Hospital Medicine, Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California
  • 3Department of Anesthesia, Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1660-1661. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5280

The timing of extubation in patients with mechanical ventilation is confronted by intensivists and physicians in the United States on a daily basis. Theoretically, earlier extubation has the potential to prevent ventilator-associated complications and decrease the length of intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stays. However, overnight extubation may be riskier, in part because fewer and less experienced physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists are available. Although the clinically important question of when to extubate arises daily in the ICU, current research on the optimal timing for extubation is insufficient.

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