The goal of mechanical ventilation for patients with acute severe asthma is to ensure adequate oxygenation, ventilation, and gas exchange while simultaneously preventing hyperinflation, auto-positive end expiratory pressure, and subsequent barotrauma. Though existing evidence on the topic is relatively scarce, the application of current knowledge may guide our practice and prevent iatrogenic complications. To that end, this article describes selected ventilatory management strategies for the patient with acute severe asthma, such as the limitation of tidal volume size and respiratory rate, selection of specific inspiratory and expiratory ratios, the use of positive end expiratory pressure, and the application of helium-oxygen mixtures.

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