Respiratory failure occurs when pulmonary gas exchange is sufficiently impaired to cause hypoxaemia with or without hypercarbia.
Respiratory failure is present if PaO2 is less than 8 kPa - 60 mmHg.
It is sub-classified into one of two types of respiratory failure based on the level of PaCO2:
- type 1 respiratory failure:
- PaCO2 is less than 6.5 kPa
- PaO2 less than 8 kPa
- type 2 respiratory failure:
- PaCO2 is greater than 6.5 kPa
- PaO2 is less than 8 kPa
Last reviewed 01/2018