For today’s #RadiologyRounds we have a combined Radiology and Ventilator imaging rounds! You’re in the ICU caring for a young patient on a ventilator when you are called to the bedside for a desaturation.
You perform an inspiratory hold and see that the PIP, plateau, and difference between peak and plateau have all increased. On exam you hear bilateral mechanical breath sounds anteriorly. You order a CXR and the student asks a question about the waveforms
There are pressure deviations corresponding to the flow deviations.
There is no clear patient effort The fact that the PIP and plat have changed makes water in the tubing or cardiac oscillations less likely.
You think this is mucus, with a plug ball-valving in a bronchus
The CXR arrives and shows right lower lobe collapse.
A bedside bronchoscopy is performed with large mucus plugs suctioned out of the RLL and RML. Afterward, the patient’s oxygenation is improved, the flow deviations resolve, and the plateau pressure drops to 19