Protocol-driven ventilator management in children: Comparison to nonprotocol care

Ruben D. Restrepo, James D. Fortenberry, Christine Spainhour, Jana Stockwell, Lynda T. Goodfellow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to compare ventilator weaning time, time to spontaneous breathing, and overall ventilator hours duration with use of a ventilator management protocol (VMP) versus standard nonprotocol-based care in a pediatric intensive care unit. A multidisciplinary task force developed a comprehensive protocol for ventilator management with four specific phases: initial ventilator set up and adjustment, weaning, minimal settings, and spontaneous mode prior to extubation. Medical records of ventilated patients both before and after protocol implementation were reviewed. A total of 187 patients were studied (89 nonprotocol and 98 VMP patients). No differences were seen between groups in PRISM scores, Murray scores, or oxygenation indices, but VMP patients were significantly younger (P=.03). Ventilator weaning times (P=.005) and time to spontaneous breathing modes (P=.006) were significantly decreased in VMP patients compared to nonprotocol patients, but overall ventilator duration was not significantly different. No significant differences were seen in extubation failure, use of corticosteroids, or use of racemic epinephrine between groups. Use of an institution-specific VMP developed by a multidisciplinary team was associated with significantly reduced ventilator weaning time and time to spontaneous breathing. Further studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-284
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical care
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Pediatrics
  • Protocol
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Ventilator weaning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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