Ventilator Associated Lung Injury


Mechanical ventilation with application of pressure to the lung, whether positive or negative, can cause damage known as ventilator-associated lung injury (VALI)

  • VALI may occur in previously normal lungs or worsen pre-existing ARDS
  • About 1 in 4 mechanically ventilated patients develop VALI, the risk is likely higher in ARDS patients
  • Ventilator induced lung injury (VILI) is sometimes used as a synonym for VALI, but strictly speaking VILI is VALI when mechanical ventilation is the proven cause of lung injury


Ventilator Associated Lung Injury (VALI) can occur due to:

  • volutramua
  • barotrauma
  • biotrauma
  • recruitment/ derecruitment injury (atelectotrauma)
  • shearing injury
  • oxygen toxicity

Ventilated patients are also at risk of ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP)



References and Links


Journal articles

  • Frank JA, Matthay MA. Science review: mechanisms of ventilator-induced injury. Crit Care. 2003 Jun;7(3):233-41. PMC270664.
  • Gajic O, Dara SI, Mendez JL, Adesanya AO, Festic E, Caples SM, Rana R, St Sauver JL, Lymp JF, Afessa B, Hubmayr RD. Ventilator-associated lung injury in patients without acute lung injury at the onset of mechanical ventilation. Crit Care Med. 2004 Sep;32(9):1817-24. PMID: 15343007.
  • Mead J, Takishima T, Leith D. Stress distribution in lungs: a model of pulmonary elasticity. J Appl Physiol. 1970;28:596–608. [PubMed]
  • Pinhu L, Whitehead T, Evans T, Griffiths M. Ventilator-associated lung injury. Lancet. 2003 Jan 25;361(9354):332-40. PMID: 12559881
  • Rocco PR, Dos Santos C, Pelosi P. Pathophysiology of ventilator-associated lung injury. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2012 Apr;25(2):123-30. PMID: 22395439.

CCC 700 6

Critical Care


Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

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