To explore the level and time course of patient-ventilator asynchrony in mechanically ventilated children and the effects on duration of mechanical ventilation, PICU stay, and Comfort Behavior Score as indicator for patient comfort.
Secondary analysis of physiology data from mechanically ventilated children.
Mixed medical-surgical tertiary PICU in a university hospital.
Mechanically ventilated children 0–18 years old were eligible for inclusion. Excluded were patients who were unable to initiate and maintain spontaneous breathing from any cause.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:
Twenty-nine patients were studied with a total duration of 109 days. Twenty-two study days (20%) were excluded because patients were on neuromuscular blockade or high-frequency oscillatory ventilation, yielding 87 days (80%) for analysis. Patient-ventilator asynchrony was detected through analysis of daily recorded ventilator airway pressure, flow, and volume versus time scalars. Approximately one of every three breaths was asynchronous. The percentage of asynchronous breaths significantly increased over time, with the highest prevalence on the day of extubation. There was no correlation with the Comfort Behavior score. The percentage of asynchronous breaths during the first 24 hours was inversely correlated with the duration of mechanical ventilation. Patients with severe patient-ventilator asynchrony (asynchrony index > 10% or > 75th percentile of the calculated asynchrony index) did not have a prolonged duration of ventilation.
The level of patient-ventilator asynchrony increased over time was not related to patient discomfort and inversely related to the duration of mechanical ventilation.