Medical Ventilators: Types, Uses and How They Function
In the wake of Covid-19, medical ventilators have gained more attention and curiosity. A medical ventilator is a lifesaving tool that is used to help treat a variety of respiratory illnesses. Mechanical ventilation is used to help a person breathe when they find it difficult or are unable to breathe on their own. A medical ventilator pushes airflow into the patient’s lungs to help them breathe.
How do ventilators work?
Medical Ventilators can assist or take over the breathing function for patients that cannot breathe on their own and need help to relieve the stress on the body to further healing. Ventilators use positive pressure to push air into the lungs. There are different types of ventilators, and each provides varying levels of support dependent on the patient’s needs.
Ventilators work by generally forcing air mixed with added oxygen or medication through a breathing tube into the patient and into their lungs. It ensures that oxygen and air are going into the patient’s lungs and also simulates an exhale to move carbon dioxide out of their lungs.
What are the different types of ventilators?
There are two main types of Ventilators: Invasive and Non-Invasive.
In invasive ventilators, either a tube is placed into the patient’s airway or it is inserted through a hole made in the neck. These ventilators are also called mechanical ventilators, and they take over breathing for the patient entirely. They are generally used when a patient is cannot breathe on their own or require extra help to breathe efficiently.
In non-invasive ventilators, the patient is made to wear a mask that fits over the nose and mouth, and the air blows into their lungs.
When is a ventilator used?
Patients of all ages including babies, children, and adults may need a medical ventilator while recovering from an illness or other issues.
When a patient is undergoing surgery, a ventilator can temporarily do the breathing for them while they are under general anesthesia. While recovering from surgery, patients may need a ventilator to help them breathe for hours or even days after surgery.
A ventilator can help a patient breathe if they have lung disease or another condition that makes breathing difficult or impossible.
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