Predicting whether a patient on life support is ready to breathe on their own
May 14, 2014
Dr.Andrew Seely has published a paper in Critical Care concerning a technique for predicting the successful removal of breathing tubes from people who are on life support. The five-year study involved 721 patients in 12 centres across North America, including Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Cleveland, Ohio. Being able to accurately predict the likelihood that someone on life support will be able to breathe on their own is important as 12% to 15% of these people fail to do so when their breathing tube is removed. Reinserting a breathing tube is extremely stressful on the body and can cause death in severe cases. Dr. Seely hopes to use the findings from the study in his development of technology for use in Intensive Care Units that will measure the respiratory and heart rate variability of patients, and give physicians a better predictor of whether a person is likely to struggle without a breathing tube. Read the paper.
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