Open Access Review

Development and implementation of explicit computerized protocols for mechanical ventilation in children

Philippe Jouvet12*, Patrice Hernert2 and Marc Wysocki2

Author Affiliations

1 Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Department of Pediatrics, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada

2 Research Center, Sainte-Justine Hospital, University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada

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Annals of Intensive Care 2011, 1:51  doi:10.1186/2110-5820-1-51

Published: 21 December 2011

Abstract

Mechanical ventilation can be perceived as a treatment with a very narrow therapeutic window, i.e., highly efficient but with considerable side effects if not used properly and in a timely manner. Protocols and guidelines have been designed to make mechanical ventilation safer and protective for the lung. However, variable effects and low compliance with use of written protocols have been reported repeatedly. Use of explicit computerized protocols for mechanical ventilation might very soon become a "must." Several closed loop systems are already on the market, and preliminary studies are showing promising results in providing patients with good quality ventilation and eventually weaning them faster from the ventilator. The present paper defines explicit computerized protocols for mechanical ventilation, describes how these protocols are designed, and reports the ones that are available on the market for children.