What is the optimal PEEP level for this patient?
A patient with ARDS is receiving mechanical ventilation in the SIMV mode with an FI02 of 0.60. The physician asks the therapist to perform an optimal PEEP study and the following data is obtained.¬†
The correct answer to this question is C, 20 cmH20. PEEP stands for positive end-expiratory pressure. This is the pressure in the lungs, which would be above atmospheric pressure and it would appear at the end of expiration. There are two types of PEEPs.
The first is an extrinsic PEEP, which is one applied by a ventilator The second is an intrinsic PEEP, which is caused by incomplete exhalation. This occurs when one is trying to take the next breath. Once identified, the pressure build-up must be reduced or stopped altogether. Both PEEPs can lead to a drop in blood pressure or an increase in intrathoric pressure.