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Males Receive Low-Tidal Volume Component of Lung Protective Ventilation More Frequently than Females in the Emergency Department

  • Author(s): Isenberg, Derek L.
  • Bloom, Benjamin
  • Gentile, Nina
  • Reimer, Hannah
  • Glaze, Owen D.
  • Palumbo, Paige
  • Fenstermacher, Rachel
  • et al.
Abstract

Introduction: Mechanical ventilation is a commonly performed procedure in the emergency department (ED). Approximately 240,000 patients per year receive mechanical ventilation in the ED representing 0.23% of ED visits. An ED-based trial published in 2017 showed that a bundle of interventions in mechanically ventilated patients, including low tidal volume ventilation, reduced the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome by nearly 50%. Prior literature has shown that as many as 40% of ED patients do not receive lung protective ventilation. Our goal was to determine whether differences exist between the percent of males vs females who are ventilated at ≥ 8 milliliters per kilogram (mL/kg) of predicted body weight.

Methods: We conducted this study at Temple University Hospital, a tertiary care center located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was a planned subgroup analysis of study looking at interventions to improve adherence to recommended tidal volume settings. We used a convenience sample of mechanically ventilated patients in our ED between September 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018. All adult patient > 18 years old were eligible for inclusion in the study. Our primary outcome measure was the number of patients who had initial tidal volumes set at > 8 mL/kg of predicted body weight. Our secondary outcome was the number of patients who had tidal volumes set at ≥ 8 mL/kg at 60 minutes after initiation of mechanical ventilation.

Results: A total of 130 patients were included in the final analysis. We found that significantly more females were initially ventilated with tidal volumes ≥ 8 mL/kg compared to men: 56% of females vs 9% of males (p=<0.001). Data was available for 107 patients (82%) who were in the ED at 60 minutes after initiation of mechanical ventilation. Again, a significantly larger percentage of females were ventilated with tidal volumes ≥ 8 mL/kg at 60 minutes: 56% of females vs 10% of males (p<0.001).

Conclusion: The vast majority of tidal volumes ≥ 8 mL/kg during mechanical ventilation occurs in females. We suggest that objective measurements, such as a tape measure and tidal volume card, be used when setting tidal volumes for all patients, especially females.

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