Ventilator-Assisted Breathing

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The support of respiration with devices is known as mechanical ventilation. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about ventilators and mechanical ventilation in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A ventilator is routinely used when someone has general anesthesia for an operation, for critically ill individuals who are in intensive care units and on an outpatient basis when someone cannot breathe on their own.

The amount of oxygen can be adjusted to the patients needs. The volume of respiration per breath and number of respirations per minute can also be regulated.

To provide mechanical ventilation, an endotracheal tube must be inserted into a patients trachea from the mouth or the nose, a procedure known as intubation.

The risks of mechanical ventilation, which include infection, pneumonia, sinus infection, and sepsis, can occur anytime the bodys natural barriers are broken. Steps are taken to protect patients who have to remain intubated and on ventilators, to reduce their chances of infection, especially ventilator-associated pneumonia.

Prolonged intubation can cause damage to the trachea, lips, tongue, teeth and vocal cords. Careful measures taken by intensive care providers help to reduce this risk.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.