A 68-year-old man with community-acquired pneumonia is intubated in the ICU with respiratory failure. Following induction of anesthesia, while paralyzed, his ventilator is set on:
An inspiratory hold maneuver is performed and his peak inspiratory pressure is 25 cm H2O and plateau pressure is 15 cm H2O.
Which of the following is true regarding this patient’s respiratory mechanics?a. The patient’s lung compliance is 45 mL/cm H2O
Correct Answer: D
The respiratory system compliance is equal to the change in volume divided by the change in pressure. In this case, the change in volume is the TV (450 mL) and the change in pressure is the plateau pressure minus the PEEP (15 cm H2O − 5 cm H2O = 10 cm H2O) (answer D is correct). Without a measure of a pleural pressure, it is not possible to separately calculate lung and chest wall compliance (answers A, B and C are incorrect).