Non-therapeutic positive end-expiratory pressure occurring frequently in patients with severe airway obstruction. It can appear with or without the administration of external positive end-expiratory pressure (positive-pressure respiration). It presents an important load on the inspiratory muscles which are operating at a mechanical disadvantage due to hyperinflation. Auto-PEEP may cause profound hypotension that should be treated by intravascular volume expansion, increasing the time for expiration, and/or changing from assist mode to intermittent mandatory ventilation mode. (From Harrison's Principles of internal medicine, 12th ed, p1127)

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