Of patients admitted to intensive care, 56% possess or will acquire acute respiratory failure (ARF) with slightly less than one-third of these patients progress to the most severe form of respiratory failure known as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) [1]. Effective methods of oxygen delivery are essential to improve outcomes in ARF and ARDS; however, with currently available medical treatments the mortality rate in these cases has been reported at 32–75% [1]. Therefore, research continues to look for more effective and efficient modalities of oxygen delivery to allow time for healing of the impaired lung parenchyma seen in ARDS.

Methods of oxygenation which bypass and reduce the strain on damaged lungs have been explored in an effort to promote lung rest and recovery. To date, only extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been approved for medical use. However, inherent to ECMO are...

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