Mechanical power of ventilation is associated with mortality in critically ill patients: an analysis of patients in two observational cohorts

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Purpose: Mechanical power (MP) may unify variables known to be related to development of ventilator-induced lung injury. The aim of this study is to examine the association between MP and mortality in critically ill patients receiving invasive ventilation for at least 48 h. Methods: This is an analysis of data stored in the databases of the MIMIC–III and eICU. Critically ill patients receiving invasive ventilation for at least 48 h were included. The exposure of interest was MP. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. Results: Data from 8207 patients were analyzed. Median MP during the second 24 h was 21.4 (16.2–28.1) J/min in MIMIC-III and 16.0 (11.7–22.1) J/min in eICU. MP was independently associated with in-hospital mortality [odds ratio per 5 J/min increase (OR) 1.06 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01–1.11); p = 0.021 in MIMIC-III, and 1.10 (1.02–1.18); p = 0.010 in eICU]. MP was also associated with ICU mortality, 30-day mortality, and with ventilator-free days, ICU and hospital length of stay. Even at low tidal volume, high MP was associated with in-hospital mortality [OR 1.70 (1.32–2.18); p < 0.001] and other secondary outcomes. Finally, there is a consistent increase in the risk of death with MP higher than 17.0 J/min. Conclusion: High MP of ventilation is independently associated with higher in-hospital mortality and several other outcomes in ICU patients receiving invasive ventilation for at least 48 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1914-1922
Number of pages9
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018



  • Critically ill
  • Intensive care unit
  • Mechanical power
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Mortality
  • Ventilator-induced lung injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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