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Open Badges Commentary

Preserving spontaneous breathing during mechanical ventilatory support: an old yet fascinating story

Enrico Calzia1* and Rolf Dembinski2

Author Affiliations

1 Ulm University, Department of Anesthesia, Section of Anesthesiological Pathophysiology and Process Development, Helmholtzstr. 8/1, 89081, Ulm, Germany

2 Klinikum Bremen Mitte, Department of Intensive Care Medicine and Emergency Medicine, St.Jürgen-Str. 1, 28177, Bremen, Germany

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Critical Care 2013, 17:1013  doi:10.1186/cc13120

See related research by Saddy et al.,

Published: 19 November 2013


Facilitation of early spontaneous breathing activity is the most important measure to shorten weaning and avoid ventilator-induced lung injury and diaphragmatic injury in mechanically ventilated patients. However, the optimal degree of spontaneous muscle activity and ventilator support remains to be determined. Furthermore, effectiveness in relation to the pathophysiology of respiratory failure is unclear. In this regard the experimental study by Saddy and colleagues reveals interesting insights into the pathophysiology of ventilator-induced injury. More important, their results raise important questions that should be evaluated in further studies.