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Editorials |

Weaning and Respiratory Muscle Dysfunction: The Egg-Chicken Dilemma

Nicolino Ambrosino, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Pisa, Italy
 ,  Dr. Ambrosino is affiliated with the Pulmonary Unit, Cardio-Thoracic Department, University Hospital.

Correspondence to: Nicolino Ambrosino, MD, FCCP, Pulmonary Unit, Cardio-Thoracic Department, University Hospital, Pisa, Italy; e-mail: n.ambrosino@ao-pisa.toscana.it



Chest. 2005;128(2):481-483. doi:10.1378/chest.128.2.481
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Extract

Dependance on mechanical ventilation following the resolution of an acute respiratory illness is a major health-care problem. About 80% of patients who receive mechanical ventilation in the ICU resume spontaneous breathing in a few days. The remaining 20% experience difficult weaning due to a combination of the unresolved primary illness or a preexisting cardiorespiratory or neuromuscular disease. Forty-one percent of the overall time spent in the ICU was reported to be devoted to weaning with large differences between patients with different etiologies necessitating mechanical ventilation. The process of weaning accounted for more than half of the length of ICU stay in patients with COPD, cardiac failure, or neurologic problems.1

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