Hospitals & Services

Respiratory Rate

An initial rate of 16 to 18 months per minute should be set which is then adjusted to achieve a PaCO2 in the normal range or approximately pre-morbid level.

In severe acute lung injury (ARDS) and elevated PaCO2 (permissive hypercapnia) is tolerated, as the cost of normalising the PaCO2 is often ventilator induced lung injury.  Where there is concern the duty Intensive Care Specialist must be notified.

Rapid ventilatory rates are not appropriate in patients with airflow limitation.  Check the expired flow returns to zero on the flow time trace.  See below:

 Respiratory rate).jpg

Click to view diagram of Respiratory Rate

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Page last reviewed: 13 May 2014
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