Design of the study. During the inclusion period, patients were randomized to a control or recruitment manoeuvre (RM) group. Clinical parameters were recorded and arterial blood gases (ABG 1) sampled at inclusion. Preoxygenation was performed for a three-minute period. Immediately after tracheal intubation (TI), a second set of ABG measurements were taken (ABG 2). Less than two minutes after intubation, an RM was performed (RM group); no RM was administered to patients in the control group. Protective mechanical ventilation with positive end-expiration pressure (PEEP) at 5 cmH2O was commenced immediately after intubation. Five and thirty minutes after intubation, ABG measurements were again performed (ABG 3 and ABG 4). At inclusion, and 5 and 30 minutes after intubation, blood samples were taken for culture. Troponin Ic levels were sampled at inclusion and six hours after intubation. Thirty minutes after intubation, endotracheal aspiration was performed on all patients. VT: tidal volume.