Endotracheal double-lumen tubes (DLTs) are used for tracheal intubation to achieve separate ventilation of the lungs and are frequently used during thoracic surgery to allow single-lung ventilation. On the intensive care unit (ICU), DLTs are used when differential lung ventilation (DLV) is indicated. DLV in critical care is a rescue ventilation strategy in which both lungs can be ventilated separately in patients with critical unilateral lung disease. Indications for DLV in critical care medicine seem less well defined compared with their use in thoracic anaesthesia, but may include massive haemoptysis, unilateral parenchymal injury or bronchopleural fistula.
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