In the image below, you will notice our patient’s expiratory limb moves toward the “baseline” rapidly, but takes a while to get to zero (as opposed to a normal curve that has a soft exponential return). You can also see how long it takes the patient to expire by looking at her flow curve (b). The flow-volume loops (left) also show significant obstructive pattern.
After checking an end-expiratory hold, the patient had about 10 cm H2O of autoPEEP – which was expected given her degree of obstruction.
For more on mechanical ventilation waveform analysis, check out these links:
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