DG Journal Club
Paediatr Anaesth. 2021 Nov 27
Extraordinary progress has been made during the past few decades in the development of anesthesia machines and ventilation techniques. With unprecedented precision and performance, modern machines for pediatric anesthesia can deliver appropriate mechanical ventilation for children and infants of all sizes and with ongoing respiratory diseases, ensuring very small volume delivery and compensating for circuit compliance. Along with highly accurate monitoring of the delivered ventilation, modern ventilators for pediatric anesthesia also have a broad choice of ventilation modalities, including synchronized and assisted ventilation modes, which were initially conceived for ventilation weaning in the intensive care setting. Despite these technical advances, there is still room for improvement in pediatric mechanical ventilation. There is a growing effort to minimize the harm of intraoperative mechanical ventilation of children by adopting the protective ventilation strategies that were previously employed only for prolonged mechanical ventilation. More than ever, the pediatric anesthesiologist should now recognize that positive-pressure ventilation is potentially a harmful procedure, even in healthy children, as it can contribute to both ventilator-induced lung injury and ventilator-induced diaphragmatic dysfunction. Therefore, careful choice of the ventilation modality and its parameters is of paramount importance to optimize gas exchange and to protect the lungs from injury during general anesthesia. The present report reviews the novel ventilation techniques used for children, discussing the advantages and pitfalls of the ventilation modalities available in modern anesthesia machines, as well as innovative ventilation modes currently under development or research. Several innovative strategies and devices are discussed. These novel modalities are likely to become part of the armamentarium of the pediatric anesthesiologist in the near future and are particularly relevant for challenging ventilation scenarios.