Avoiding Prolonged Ventilation

Led by Gianni Angelini and Ben Gibbison

Up to 5 per cent of patients remain in intensive care for more than 48 hours after surgery. These patients, who require ventilators for prolonged periods of time, may be showing signs of uncontrolled inflammation – a poor response to the physiological stress of surgery.

We are investigating levels of the stress hormone cortisol in critically ill adults requiring prolonged ventilation after heart surgery, to determine whether cortisol levels correlate with inflammation. From this work, we can determine if these patients need higher levels of cortisol, then administer it in a pattern tailored to the individual.