Clinical Challenges in Pediatric Ventilation Liberation: A Meta-Narrative Review

Jefta van Dijk, Robert G T Blokpoel, Samer Abu-Sultaneh, Christopher J L Newth, Robinder G Khemani, Martin C J Kneyber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
60 Downloads (Pure)


OBJECTIVES: To map the evidence for ventilation liberation practices in pediatric respiratory failure using the Realist And MEta-narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards publication standards.

DATA SOURCES: CINAHL, MEDLINE, COCHRANE, and EMBASE. Trial registers included the following:, European Union clinical trials register, International Standardized Randomized Controlled Trial Number register.

STUDY SELECTION: Abstracts were screened followed by review of full text. Articles published in English language incorporating a heterogeneous population of both infants and older children were assessed.


DATA SYNTHESIS: Weaning can be considered as the process by which positive pressure is decreased and the patient becomes increasingly responsible for generating the energy necessary for effective gas exchange. With the growing use of noninvasive respiratory support, extubation can lie in the middle of the weaning process if some additional positive pressure is used after extubation, while for some extubation may constitute the end of weaning. Testing for extubation readiness is a key component of the weaning process as it allows the critical care practitioner to assess the capability and endurance of the patient's respiratory system to resume unassisted ventilation. Spontaneous breathing trials (SBTs) are often seen as extubation readiness testing (ERT), but the SBT is used to determine if the patient can maintain adequate spontaneous ventilation with minimal ventilatory support, whereas ERT implies the patient is ready for extubation.

CONCLUSIONS: Current literature suggests using a structured approach that includes a daily assessment of patient's readiness to extubate may reduce total ventilation time. Increasing evidence indicates that such daily assessments needs to include SBTs without added pressure support. Measures of elevated load as well as measures of impaired respiratory muscle capacity are independently associated with extubation failure in children, indicating that these should also be assessed as part of ERT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1008
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric critical care medicine : a journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies
Issue number12
Early online date14-Jul-2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2022

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