Introduction: Following extubation from invasive mechanical ventilation, nearly one in seven critically ill adults requires reintubation. Reintubation is independently associated with increased mortality. Postextubation respiratory support (non-invasive ventilation or high-flow nasal cannula applied at the time of extubation) has been reported in small-to-moderate-sized trials to reduce reintubation rates among hypercapnic patients, high-risk patients without hypercapnia and low-risk patients without hypercapnia. It is unknown whether protocolised provision of postextubation respiratory support to every patient undergoing extubation would reduce the overall reintubation rate, compared with usual care.
Methods and analysis: The Protocolized Post-Extubation Respiratory Support (PROPER) trial is a pragmatic, cluster cross-over trial being conducted between 1 October 2017 and 31 March 2019 in the medical intensive care unit of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. PROPER compares usual care versus protocolized post-extubation respiratory support (a respiratory therapist-driven protocol that advises the provision of non-invasive ventilation or high-flow nasal cannula based on patient characteristics). For the duration of the trial, the unit is divided into two clusters. One cluster receives protocolised support and the other receives usual care. Each cluster crosses over between treatment group assignments every 3 months. All adults undergoing extubation from invasive mechanical ventilation are enrolled except those who received less than 12 hours of mechanical ventilation, have 'Do Not Intubate' orders, or have been previously reintubated during the hospitalisation. The anticipated enrolment is approximately 630 patients. The primary outcome is reintubation within 96 hours of extubation.
Ethics and dissemination: The trial was approved by the Vanderbilt Institutional Review Board. The results will be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at one or more scientific conferences.
Trial registration number: NCT03288311.
Keywords: respiratory physiology.
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