Role of Medical Ventilators in Critical Life Care
In the wake of covid 19, medical ventilators were the most sought-after machines in the world. The percentage of people recovering from covid 19 was higher in medical facilities where the ventilators were available. The shortage of oxygen and ventilators brought the system to its knees. The covid 19 virus was attacking the lungs of the infected. Infected people had difficulty breathing and the saturation percentage of oxygen quickly fell. Ventilator machines were the only means to pump up the oxygen saturation to a surviving level. Critical care was compromised due to the non-availability of ventilator machines and as a result, the mortality rate surged in the second wave.
Ventilator machines are an absolute necessity for those individuals who are not in a position to have normal respiration and need assistance in pushing oxygen inside their lungs and exhaling carbon dioxide. A ventilator machine will help to maintain the oxygen inside the human body. Thus, it has become synonymous with critical care. No critical care unit stationery or mobile is fully functional without a ventilator machine.
Can ventilators improve lung function?
Ventilator machines are a boon for people who have difficulty, temporarily or permanently, breathing. As respiration is essential for life, ventilator machines perform the function of the lungs in the human body. Ventilators can support the function of the lungs partially or fully but are not known to improve the function of the lungs.
Is mechanical ventilation completely safe?
A review carried out by T B Bezzant , J D Mortensen of the available publications confirmed that
Mechanical ventilation when applied at a level that is mild to moderate is safe for assisted respiration in patients that are unable to perform normal breathing. It is important that people using mechanical ventilators are trained in their application and use.
When can a patient be taken out of the ventilator?
In cases where patients are admitted in intensive care post an elective or a planned surgery or is a soft admission, there is a good chance that they will be off the ventilator in 72 to 100 hrs. In cases where the patient is critical then the ventilator is needed for more than 100 hours.
Conclusion: The ventilator is an essential piece of equipment when it comes to critical care. The challenges with today’s ventilation machines are
- They are bulky and need to be portable
- They need a lead time to manufacture
- They are expensive to procure
- They need servicing from time to time
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