Complications

Complications table
ComplicationTimeframeLikelihood

mechanical ventilation and ventilator-associated pneumonia

short termhigh

Patients who are ventilated are at high risk of infection. May be due to aspiration following intubation and/or related to bypassing normal anatomic structures involved in host defense.

antibiotic-related diarrhea

short termhigh

Antibiotic-associated colitis, which may be due to Clostridium difficile, is a recognized complication of exposure to antibiotics.

mechanical ventilation and ventilator-associated barotrauma

short termmedium

Occurs due to mechanical ventilation, and is the development of extra-alveolar air. Careful use of ventilator settings, including use of lower tidal volumes, faster inspiratory flow rates, and monitoring airway pressures may help prevent the occurrence of this complication.

hypotension due to mechanical ventilation

short termmedium

Occurs due to increased intrathoracic pressure and increased dynamic hyperinflation, leading to decreased venous return to the heart, often in conjunction with relative volume depletion and/or use of anxiolytic and/or narcotic medications.

cor pulmonale

long termhigh

This may develop as a result of increased hypoxic vasoconstriction due to exacerbation-induced hypoxemia. The resulting increase in pulmonary vascular resistance and/or pulmonary artery pressure can lead to acute right heart failure. Elevated jugular venous pressure, hepatojugular reflux, peripheral edema, and relative hypotension may be present.

Use of this content is subject to our disclaimer