Certain mechanical ventilation strategies could prevent the injury caused by this intervention. One element of so-called ‘lung–protective’ ventilation is the use of low tidal volumes. It is uncertain whether high levels of positive end-expiratory pressures have lung-protective properties as well. There are indications that high oxygen fractions of inspired air, or high blood oxygen targets, are harmful. This review summarises recently obtained clinical evidence for protective roles of low tidal volumes, high levels of PEEP, and low fractions of inspired oxygen in surgery patients, and critically ill patients without ARDS.
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