Automated rotational percussion bed and bronchoscopy improves respiratory mechanics and oxygenation in ARDS patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Academic Article


  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been used to provide "lung rest" through the use of low tidal volume (6 ml/kg) and ultralow tidal volume (<6 ml/kg) ventilation in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Low and ultralow tidal volume ventilation can result in low dynamic respiratory compliance and potentially increased retention of airway secretions. We present our experience using automated rotational percussion beds (ARPBs) and bronchoscopy in four ARDS patients to manage increased pulmonary secretions. These beds performed automated side-to-side tilt maneuver and intermittent chest wall percussion. Their use resulted in substantial reduction in peak and plateau pressures in two patients on volume control ventilation, while the driving pressures (inspiratory pressure) to attain the desired tidal volumes in patients on pressure control ventilation also decreased. In addition, mean partial pressure of oxygen in arterial blood (PaO2)/fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) ratio (109 pre-ARPB vs. 157 post-ARPB), positive end-expiratory pressure (10 cm H2O vs. 8 cm H2O), and FiO2 (0.88 vs. 0.52) improved after initiation of ARPB. The improvements in the respiratory mechanics and oxygenation helped us to initiate early ECMO weaning. Based on our experience, the use of chest physiotherapy, frequent body repositioning, and bronchoscopy may be helpful in the management of pulmonary secretions in patients supported with ECMO.
  • Published In

  • ASAIO Journal  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sharma NS; Wille KM; Bellot SC; Diaz-Guzman E
  • Start Page

  • e27
  • End Page

  • e29
  • Volume

  • 62
  • Issue

  • 3