A 56 year old female with septic shock and multiple  organ failure is admitted to intensive  care.  She is endotracheally intubated and  ventilated. This is the patient’s pressure-volume loop. What abnormalities does the loop indicate?

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College Answer

Reduced compliance / Increased resistance

Discussion

No better, more succinct answer is possible. Look at the inflection point- it is well above 20cm. This patient's lungs require a large amount of pressure before their compliance improves.

 Pressure-volume and flow-volume loops are discussed elsewhere.