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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The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

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