Mechanical ventilation has been used in critical care for decades to save patients' lives in critical settings, but it has potential complications, such as ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI). Barotrauma is widely referred to as the VILI, but, with advanced microscopic technology, researchers have found that lung injury might also be the consequence of inflammatory response to mechanical ventilation. During normal gas exchange, alveoli structure is maintained by surface tension and connective tissues; however, when the lungs are injured, the surface tension loses its function of maintaining the alveolar structure. For instance, the repeating recruitment and derecruitment of the lungs creates inflammatory responses. The mechanisms causing acute lung injury during mechanical ventilation include volutrauma, atelectrauma, biotrauma, barotrauma, and oxygen toxicity. Understanding the mechanisms of VILI facilitates the prevention of worsening disease.
- mechanical ventilator
- lung injury