• delirium;
  • lung recruitment;
  • mechanical ventilation;
  • surfactant.


There has been a marked increase in the volume of critical care services throughout the world in the last few years with the wide addition of intensive care units in developing nations. Despite extensive efforts in research and some progress in treatment, mortality and morbidity have not significantly decreased. Recent research has demonstrated that modifying standard practices of mechanical ventilation and sedation may contribute to improved patient outcomes. This article discusses how new aspects of physiologically based mechanical ventilation with minimal intravenous sedation may help decrease the incidence of nosocomial pneumonia, modulate systemic inflammatory response, and reduce the incidence of delirium. These interlinked modalities may someday contribute to decreased length of stay and a reduction in treatment-related complications. These concepts may also open new avenues to improve patient care and stimulate ongoing investigation in other areas related to physiologically based critical care practices. Mt Sinai J Med 79:116–122, 2012.© 2012 Mount Sinai School of Medicine