Tip 163: high-frequency oscillatory ventilation

HFOV delivers a constant mean airway pressure (MAP) with pressure variation at very fast rates, creating very small tidal volumes.

The usual starting parameters are a MAP 2cm H2O above that on the conventional ventilator, a frequency of 10Hz (i.e. 600 cycles per minute) and an amplitude set so that the thorax and abdomen are seen to be wobbling.

It is important to obtain an early gas (within 30 minutes) and chest x-ray (within an hour) to assess the CO2 clearance and lung inflation.

Reference: Birch P. ‘High Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation.’ Auckland district health board Newborn Services Clinical Guideline. March 2010.

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