Clinical review: The ABC of weaning failure - A structured approach

Leo M. Heunks*, Johannes G. Van Der Hoeven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


About 20% to 30% of patients are difficult to wean from invasive mechanical ventilation. The pathophysiology of difficult weaning is complex. Accordingly, determining the reason for difficult weaning and subsequently developing a treatment strategy require a dedicated clinician with in-depth knowledge of the pathophysiology of weaning failure. This review presents a structural framework ('ABCDE') for the assessment and treatment of difficult-to-wean patients. Earlier recognition of the underlying causes may expedite weaning from mechanical ventilation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number245
JournalCritical Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010

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