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October 1974

Complications of Ventilator Therapy in Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Recognition and Management of Acute Air Leaks

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pediatrics (Drs. Kirkpatrick, Felman, and Eitzman) and radiology (Dr. Felman), University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville. Dr. Kirkpatrick is now with the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond.

Am J Dis Child. 1974;128(4):496-502. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1974.02110290066011

Acute air leaks such as pneumothorax or pneumomediastinum are a serious and life-threatening complication to infants with the respiratory distress syndrome during mechanical ventilation. Often the clinical diagnosis of an air leak is missed or its seriousness is not fully appreciated. Roentgenograms are the single best diagnostic tool for the early diagnosis of this problem. During 1972 and 1973, a total of 37 infants with respiratory distress syndrome were managed with assisted ventilation; 41% (15) of these infants developed air leaks.

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