A 1D point-prevalence study was performed to describe the characteristics of conventional mechanical ventilation in intensive care units (ICUs). In addition, a survey was conducted to determine the characteristics of ICUs. A prospective, multicenter study was performed in ICUs at 24 university hospitals. The study population consisted of 223 patients who were receiving mechanical ventilation or had been weaned off mechanical ventilation within the past 24 hr. Common indications for the initiation of mechanical ventilation included acute respiratory failure (66%), acute exacerbation of chronic respiratory failure (15%) (including tuberculosis-destroyed lung [5%]), coma (13%), and neuromuscular disorders (6%). Mechanical ventilation was delivered via an endotracheal tube in 68% of the patients, tracheostomy in 28% and facial mask with noninvasive ventilation (NIV) in 4%. NIV was used in 2 centers. In patients who had undergone tracheostomy, the procedure had been performed 16.9+/-8.1 days after intubation. Intensivists treated 29% of the patients. A need for additional educational programs regarding clinical practice in the ICU was expressed by 62% of the staff and 42% of the nurses. Tuberculosis-destroyed lung is a common indication for mechanical ventilation in acute exacerbation of chronic respiratory failure, and noninvasive ventilation was used in a limited number of ICUs.
Keywords: Intensive Care Units; Respiration, Artificial; Respiratory Insufficiency; Tuberculosis-Destroyed Lung.