High-frequency oscillatory ventilation as a rescue therapy for adult trauma patients

Steven Briggs, Claudia E. Goettler, Paul J. Schenarts, Mark A. Newell, Scott G. Sagraves, Michael R. Bard, Eric A. Toschlog, Michael F. Rotondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: High-frequency oscillatory ventilation is an alternative ventilation mode that improves oxygenation in trauma patients in whom conventional ventilation strategies have been unsuccessful. Objective: To evaluate the effect of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation on oxygenation, survival, and parameters predictive of survival in trauma patients. Methods: A retrospective case series of 24 adult patients admitted to the trauma intensive care unit at a level I trauma center between November 2001 and July 2005 and treated with high-frequency oscillatory ventilation. Survivors and nonsurvivors were compared for mechanism and severity of injury, oxygenation parameters related to high-frequency oscillatory ventilation, and hospital course. Results Of the 8577 patients admitted during the study period, acute respiratory distress syndrome developed in 103 (1%). Of those 103 patients, 24 (23%) were treated with highfrequency oscillatory ventilation. Most of the patients treated with high-frequency oscillatory ventilation had sustained blunt trauma (79%). Oxygenation parameters improved significantly with high-frequency oscillatory ventilation in all patients, regardless of survival. Of the 24 patients treated with this ventilation mode, 15 (62%) survived. Survival did not correlate with improved oxygenation parameters but with the number of failed organ systems and injury severity. Conclusion: Although high-frequency oscillatory ventilation improves oxygenation, severity of traumatic injury and organ failure, not respiratory parameters, are predictors of survival. High-frequency oscillatory ventilation should be considered for pulmonary rescue of severely injured patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-148
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Critical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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