What are the potential cardiovascular complications of mechanical ventilation?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Christopher D Jackson, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Mechanical ventilation always has some effect on the cardiovascular system. Positive-pressure ventilation can decrease preload, stroke volume, and cardiac output. Positive-pressure ventilation also affects renal blood flow and function, resulting in gradual fluid retention. The incidence of stress ulcers and sedation-related ileus is increased when patients receive mechanical ventilation. In fact, mechanical ventilation is a primary indication for GI prophylaxis. Positive pressure maintained in the chest may decrease venous return from the head, increasing intracranial pressure and worsening agitation, delirium, and sleep deprivation.

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