New method for intensive care ventilation

Critically unwell patients requiring ventilation in intensive care stand to benefit from a Flinders University research project trialling a new mechanical ventilation monitor.

Professor Peter Catcheside was awarded a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to refine and test a groundbreaking new method for identifying mechanical ventilation timing problems in intensive care units, and in patients who need breathing support during sleep.

The new method uses an oesophageal balloon catheter and a new signal processing method, developed through sleep breathing research, to estimate when and how much airflow should be achieved based on pressure changes from each breathing effort.

Poorly timed mechanical ventilator breaths are very common in adult and neonatal intensive care units and make it more difficult for patients to tolerate mechanical ventilation. They potentially also contribute to lung injury, prolonged hospital stays and other poor health outcomes. However current methods for detecting ventilator timing problems are very primitive.

Professor Catcheside and his team hope that more advanced monitoring will help to improve tolerance and outcomes for patients requiring assisted breathing.

We believe that improved mechanical ventilation monitoring will help to improve outcomes for patients requiring mechanical ventilation in intensive care.

Project title: Translating a new method of inspiratory effort measurement into improved monitoring and outcomes for mechanically-ventilated patients in intensive care.

Lead researcher: Professor Peter Catcheside

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