Sigh Ventilation in Patients With Trauma

Richard K. Albert, Gregory J. Jurkovich, John Connett, Erika S. Helgeson, Angela Keniston, Helen Voelker, Sarah Lindberg, Jennifer L. Proper, Grant Bochicchio, Deborah M. Stein, Christian Cain, Ron Tesoriero, Carlos V.R. Brown, James Davis, Lena Napolitano, Thomas Carver, Mark Cipolle, Luis Cardenas, Joseph Minei, Raminder NirulaJay Doucet, Preston R. Miller, Jeffrey Johnson, Kenji Inaba, Lillian Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE Among patients receiving mechanical ventilation, tidal volumes with each breath are often constant or similar. This may lead to ventilator-induced lung injury by altering or depleting surfactant. The role of sigh breaths in reducing ventilator-induced lung injury among trauma patients at risk of poor outcomes is unknown. OBJECTIVE To determine whether adding sigh breaths improves clinical outcomes. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A pragmatic, randomized trial of sigh breaths plus usual care conducted from 2016 to 2022 with 28-day follow-up in 15 academic trauma centers in the US. Inclusion criteria were age older than 18 years, mechanical ventilation because of trauma for less than 24 hours, 1 or more of 5 risk factors for developing acute respiratory distress syndrome, expected duration of ventilation longer than 24 hours, and predicted survival longer than 48 hours. INTERVENTIONS Sigh volumes producing plateau pressures of 35 cm H2O (or 40 cm H2O for inpatients with body mass indexes >35) delivered once every 6 minutes. Usual care was defined as the patient's physician(s) treating the patient as they wished. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcomewas ventilator-free days. Prespecified secondary outcomes included all-cause 28-day mortality. RESULTS Of 5753 patients screened, 524 were enrolled (mean [SD] age, 43.9 [19.2] years; 394 [75.2%] were male). The median ventilator-free days was 18.4 (IQR, 7.0-25.2) in patients randomized to sighs and 16.1 (IQR, 1.1-24.4) in those receiving usual care alone (P = .08). The unadjusted mean difference in ventilator-free days between groups was 1.9 days (95%CI, 0.1 to 3.6) and the prespecified adjusted mean difference was 1.4 days (95%CI, -0.2 to 3.0). For the prespecified secondary outcome, patients randomized to sighs had 28-day mortality of 11.6%(30/259) vs 17.6%(46/261) in those receiving usual care (P = .05). No differences were observed in nonfatal adverse events comparing patients with sighs (80/259 [30.9%]) vs those without (80/261 [30.7%]). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In a pragmatic, randomized trial among trauma patients receiving mechanical ventilation with risk factors for developing acute respiratory distress syndrome, the addition of sigh breaths did not significantly increase ventilator-free days. Prespecified secondary outcome data suggest that sighs are well-tolerated and may improve clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1982-1990
Number of pages9
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 28 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Sigh Ventilation in Patients With Trauma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this