Symptoms And Treatment Of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

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Introduction: As a student completing senior synthesis in the pediatric intensive care unit, I see many patients, both chronic and acute, that require mechanical ventilation. I understand the many risks involved with this life-saving procedure, but at the same time I often question why the patient must remain on the ventilator for such extended periods of time. I based my PICOT question around my observations of intubated patients. Nurses collaborate with respiratory therapists and physicians to care for their patients, but have little to do with the respiratory management of intubated patients besides being a patient advocate. I want to know if nurses could be more involved with the management of mechanically ventilated patients to…show more content…
The apparent lack of research and evidence-based literature pertaining to mechanically ventilated pediatric patients, and unique pediatric physiology, highlight the necessity for development of protocols and guidelines specific to the population in order to reduce mechanical ventilation times. You may ask why it is important to develop these pediatric protocols in an effort to reduce time of mechanical ventilation. Since decreased time of mechanical ventilation has the potential to reduce the incidence of harmful ventilator associated infections, and decreases the risk of acquiring such infections, it is of utmost importance to the health and safety of these patients (Marelich, et al., 2000; Randolph, et al., 2003). Furthermore, mechanical ventilation poses a great risk of tracheal airway irritation and scarring (Randolph, et al., 2003). This can occur through the method of endotracheal suctioning, duration of suctioning, frequency of suctioning pose, and length of time the endotracheal tube is in place. All these factors can damage the patient’s airway, compromise the integrity of the endotracheal tube, and put the patient at risk for ventilator associated pneumonia (Grap, 2009). There are several other aspects of care of the mechanically ventilated patient that make reduced time of ventilation an important issue to consider. The management of mechanical ventilation with sedation increases the need for skilled care in the ICU setting,
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