A patient experiencing an exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may need to be intubated if certain clinical or laboratory findings are present.


These indications also can serve as indications for admission to the ICU.


Indications for intubation - one or more of the following:

(1) acidosis with arterial pH < 7.2

(2) acidosis with arterial pH 7.2 to 7.25 on 2 readings taken 1 hour apart

(3) cardiopulmonary arrest

(4) hypercapnic coma (PaCO2 > 60 mm Hg and Glasgow Coma Score < 8)

(5) severe hypoxemia (PaO2 < 45 mm Hg) despite maximum tolerated FIO2


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