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Muscle atrophy among critically ill kids occurs within one week of mechanical ventilation

Children with life-threatening respiratory failure who require mechanical ventilation in a pediatric intensive care unit commonly experience rapid muscle atrophy, according to a study published online Dec. 19, 2018, in PLOS ONE. More than 80 percent of children enrolled in the study experienced atrophy in at least one muscle group, and almost half experienced atrophy in two or more muscle groups after just one week on the ventilator. Older children and kids with traumatic brain injury appeared to experience even more pronounced muscle loss.

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