A new study published July 2 has found that higher than expected rates of barotrauma occurred in patients with COVID-19 who required mechanical ventilation. Barotrauma—damage to the lungs from rapid or excessive pressure changes—was associated with longer hospital stay and death. The research was conducted at New York University Langone Health at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and was published in the journal Radiology.
Among key study results, barotrauma occurred in 15% of patients with COVID-19 infection requiring invasive mechanical ventilation and was more likely to occur in younger patients with COVID-19.
Over the same time, barotrauma occurred in .5% of patients who had invasive mechanical ventilation for other reasons than COVID-19, and 10% of patients who had acute respiratory distress syndrome over the period from 2016 to 2020.
In this retrospective study, clinical and imaging data of patients seen between 03/01/2020 and 04/06/2020 who tested positive for COVID-19 and experienced barotrauma associated with invasive mechanical ventilation were compared to patients without COVID-19 infection during the same period.
The authors conclude that: “High barotrauma rates in patients with COVID-19 infection on invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) is associated with longer hospital stay and is a risk factor for higher mortality. Barotrauma risk is particularly important to recognize as these critically ill patients may be managed by staff less familiar with the management of ventilator settings.”
For more about the study, see High Incidence of Barotrauma in Patients with COVID-19 Infection on Invasive Mechanical Ventilation.Back To Top
Higher Rates of Lung Damage Seen in Ventilated COVID-19 Patients. Appl Radiol.