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Acute respiratory distress syndrome, ARDS, Recruitment maneuver



  1. Nguyen, Angela MSN, AGACNP-BC, CCRN


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a deadly complication in critically ill patients that causes significant morbidity and mortality. Patients with ARDS are seen across intensive care unit settings, with treatment being largely supportive involving techniques through mechanical ventilation. Using low-tidal-volume ventilation is a standard of practice for patients with ARDS, as a lung protection strategy; however, alveolar decruitment may occur. Recruitment maneuvers can recruit collapsed alveoli and promote oxygenation. There are several methods of recruitment maneuvers-each with varying levels and durations of positive end-expiratory pressure. It is still uncertain which method is the best. The evidence for the efficacy of recruitment maneuvers has shown a decrease in intensive care unit mortality, but strong evidence is lacking for its routine use, and the decision to use recruitment maneuvers should be based on individual characteristics and responses. This article reviews management of ARDS, recruitment maneuver techniques, and clinical application through a case study.