Ventilation Does Not Improve Mortality Rate in Lung Edema

Improves symptoms of respiratory distress

WEDNESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Non-invasive ventilation improves symptoms of respiratory distress but not short-term mortality in patients with acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema, researchers report in the July 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Alasdair Gray, M.D., from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues randomly assigned 1,069 patients with acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema to standard oxygen therapy, continuous positive airway pressure, or non-invasive intermittent positive-pressure ventilation.

The researchers found that the two non-invasive ventilation groups had significant improvements in patient-reported dyspnea, heart rate, acidosis and hypercapnia, and similar rates of tracheal intubation, admission to the critical care unit and myocardial infarction compared with standard oxygen therapy. However, there were no improvements in either seven-day mortality or death or intubation within seven days for both non-invasive ventilation groups. There were no treatment-related adverse effects, the report indicates.

"In patients with acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema, non-invasive ventilation induces a more rapid improvement in respiratory distress and metabolic disturbance than does standard oxygen therapy but has no effect on short-term mortality," Gray and colleagues conclude.

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