Managing Extubation and the Post Extubation Period in the Intensive Care Unit

Stephen Glover, *Alastair Glossop

Department of Critical Care, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
*Correspondence to

Disclosure: Alastair Glossop has received honoraria, travel expenses, and speaker fees from Armstrong
Medical UK Ltd. between September 2015 and the present time.
Received: 09.06.17 Accepted: 20.09.17
Citation: EMJ Respir. 2017;5[1]:85-91.


The process of successfully weaning patients from invasive mechanical ventilation is a great challenge for all healthcare providers working in critical care. Despite several recent advances in the care of intensive care patients, failed extubation remains a significant problem that may result in poor patient outcomes. A lack of consensus in many areas regarding clinical approach to extubation and the peri-extubation period exists, and the numerous strategies described in this review add to the complexity of the decision faced by the clinicians involved.

The process of weaning and timing of extubation may be improved by implementation of a consistent multidisciplinary approach to weaning, with a number of easily identifiable risk factors available to support clinical decision making. There are also many known risk factors that can be used to predict the likelihood of extubation failure; whilst these factors may not be easily modifiable, they do allow the identification of patients at a high risk of extubation failure who may require more detailed care and planning post extubation. Finally, a number of strategies, including non-invasive ventilation and high flow nasal oxygen therapy, are available to support carefully selected groups in the post extubation period. Evidence is emerging linking these adjuncts to a reduction in the risk of extubation failure. This article will discuss these risk factors and the evidence supporting their use in this challenging patient group.

This article is made available under the terms of theĀ Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 License.

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