J J Cordingley B F Keogh

The ventilatory management of patients with acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has evolved in conjunction with advances in understanding of the underlying pathophysiology. In particular, evidence that mechanical ventilation has an influence on lung injury and patient outcome has emerged over the past three decades.1 The present understanding of optimal ventilatory management is outlined and other methods of respiratory support are reviewed.

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