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Evidence-Based Guidelines for Weaning and Discontinuing Ventilatory Support*: A Collective Task Force Facilitated by the American College of Chest Physicians; the American Association for Respiratory Care; and the American College of Critical Care Medicine

Neil R. MacIntyre, Chairman, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

*Correspondence to: Neil R. MacIntyre, MD, FCCP, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3911, Durham, NC 27710; e-mail: neil.macintyre@duke.edu



Chest. 2001;120(6_suppl):375S-396S. doi:10.1378/chest.120.6_suppl.375S
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The discontinuation or withdrawal process from mechanical ventilation is an important clinical issue.12 Patients are generally intubated and placed on mechanical ventilators when their own ventilatory and/or gas exchange capabilities are outstripped by the demands placed on them from a variety of diseases. Mechanical ventilation also is required when the respiratory drive is incapable of initiating ventilatory activity either because of disease processes or drugs. As the conditions that warranted placing the patient on the ventilator stabilize and begin to resolve, attention should be placed on removing the ventilator as quickly as possible. Although this process often is termed “ventilator weaning” (implying a gradual process), we prefer the more encompassing term “discontinuation.”

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