Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 287–290 | Cite as

Management of massive air leak with asynchronous independent lung ventilation

  • C. P. Dodds
  • K. M. Hillman
Methods and Devices


A case is described where massive air leak was successfully treated with asynchronous independent lung ventilation using a double lumen endobronchial tube connected to two ventilators. The lung without the leak was ventilated selectively with large tidal volumes and PEEP, while lower tidal volumes without PEEP were employed on the affected side. The leak was greatly reduced, the residual pneumothorax resolved and oxygenation improved. Asynchronous independent lung ventilation proved to be a simple, flexible and highly effective technique for managing massive air leak. Because the ventilators are unsynchronised, no special equipment is required and it should therefore be possible to employ this technique in all intensive care units.

Key words

Massive air leak Asynchronous independent lung ventilation Pneumothorax Barotrauma Bronchopleural fistula PEEP Peak inspiratory pressure 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. P. Dodds
    • 1
  • K. M. Hillman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnaesthesiaSt. Bartholomew's HospitalLondonUK

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