Mechanical Ventilation Discontinuation Practices in Asia A Multinational Survey

the Asian Critical Care Clinical Trials Group

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: There are limited data on mechanical discontinuation practices in Asia. Objectives: To document self-reported mechanical discontinuation practices and determine whether there is clinical equipoise regarding protocolized weaning among Asian Intensive Care specialists. Methods: A survey using a validated questionnaire, distributed using a snowball method to Asian Intensive Care specialists. Results: Of the 2,967 invited specialists from 20 territories, 2,074 (69.9%) took part. The majority of respondents (60.5%) were from China. Of the respondents, 42% worked in intensive care units (ICUs) where respiratory therapists were present; 78.9% used a spontaneous breathing trial as the initial weaning step; 44.3% frequently/always used pressure support (PS) alone, 53.4% intermittent spontaneous breathing trials with PS in between, and 19.8% synchronized intermittent mandatory ventilation with PS as a weaning mode. Of the respondents, 56.3% routinely stopped feeds before extubation, 71.5% generally followed a sedation protocol or guideline, and 61.8% worked in an ICU with a weaning protocol. Of these, 78.2% frequently always followed the protocol. A multivariate analysis involving a modified Poisson regression analysis showed that working in an ICU with a weaning protocol and frequently/ always following it was positively associated with an upper–middle-income territory, a university-affiliated hospital, or in an ICU that employed respiratory therapists; and negatively with a low-income or lower–middle-income territory or a public hospital. There was no significant association with “in-house” intensivist at night, multidisciplinary ICU, closed ICU, or nurse–patient ratio. There was heterogeneity in agreement/ disagreement with the statement, “evidence clearly supports protocolized weaning over nonprotocolized weaning.” Conclusions: A substantial minority of Asian Intensive Care specialists do not wean patients in accordance with the best available evidence or current guidelines. There is clinical equipoise regarding the benefit of protocolized weaning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1352-1359
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Airway extubation
  • Healthcare surveys
  • Ventilator weaning


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