Tidal Volume

As general guideline, tidal volumes should not be augmented beyond 6 to 8 ml per kilogram of ideal bodyweight.  This is particularly important in patients with acute lung injury (ALI), or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) who are receiving full mechanical ventilation.  In ALI and ARDS, the PaO2/FiO2 ratios is  300 and  200 respectively.  Our Department is committed to the principles of lung protective ventilation and permissive hypercapnia.  The key to which is if the resulting peak airway pressure exceeds 30cmH2O, then the tidal volume must be reduced and the duty intensive care specialist consulted.  A tidal volume of as little as 4 ml/kg is only 300ml in a 75 kg patient.  A bedside chart is available to convert the patient's demi-span (base of 4th finger to sterna notch) to an ideal body weight.​

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Page last reviewed: 13 May 2014
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