positive end-expiratory pressure
Definition: a technique used in respiratory therapy in which airway pressure greater than atmospheric pressure is achieved at the end of exhalation by introduction of a mechanical impedance to exhalation. So-called “auto-PEEP” occurs when increased time is needed for expiration during mechanical ventilation and the next breath is delivered before the system pressure has dropped to 0; this can be a dangerous phenomenon, which may lead to barotrauma and hypotension.
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