Viva 5

A 75-year-old previously fit and well female was admitted to the ICU with hypoxaemic respiratory failure, due to community acquired pneumonia. She developed multi-organ failure over the first 3 days, and required extensive support. Her cardiorespiratory status gradually improved but she now remains ventilator dependent at day 10.

What might be the specific barriers to her weaning from the ventilator, and how might they be managed?

(This viva focussed on issues relating to prolonged weaning from mechanical ventilation.)

Disclaimer: the viva stem above may be an original CICM stem, acquired from their publicly available past papers. Or, perhaps it is a slightly altered version of the original CICM stem. Or, it is a completely original viva stem, concocted by the monstrously amoral author of Deranged Physiology for nothing more than his own personal amusement. In either case, because the college do not make the main viva text or marking criteria available, almost everything here has been confabulated. It might sound like a plausible viva and it could be used for the purpose of practice, but all should be aware that it does not represent the "true" canonical CICM viva station.