A ventilator is used in critical care when a patient cannot breathe on their own. A ventilator is connected to a breathing tube which is placed into the patient through their nose or their mouth. This breathing tube is connected to the ventilator and the physician decides how fast, and how deep the ventilator will breathe for the patient. A respiratory therapist will set the ventilator according to what the doctor orders and monitors how well the patient is being assisted to breathe. Patient's are placed on a ventilator for different reasons: after surgery until they wake up, due to trauma, due to a respiratory condition. The goal is to assist the patient in breathing until they are able to start breathing on their own.
A Answers (2)
Kathleen Handal, MD, Emergency Medicine, answered
When a person is unable to breath on their own to the effort needed to get oxygen in and carbon dioxide out-a ventilator is used to help. This machine is connected to their airway. Dials adjust the depth of the inspiration which is dependent on body size. Also adjustable is the rate of breathing per minute and concentration of oxygen that is needed. Sometimes patients are sedated -somewhat 'knocked out' so they do not fight the machine. Sedation is common especially when head trauma has occurred. When the brain for any reason does not get enough oxygen confusion and fright set in and sedation is necessary to insure brain cells get enough oxygen. Yes it is plugged into a wall socket but plenty of safety alarms and back ups are also there. So never touch any equipment in the hospital especially if it is making noise-Get help!