Ventilators….. the word echoes..when you get the saddening news that a loved one of yours needs a ventilator urgently, it’s reasonable to know about how it will impact the life of the person. You may have a general idea of what a medical ventilator is. It’s a machine designed to assist a patient who is not able to breathe.
In this article, we would try to make it easier for you to learn more about ventilators. It will discuss how the machine works and what to expect when on it.
Basically, it is a medical machine that supports the life and breathing of the patient. Sometimes also known as a respirator or breathing machine. The ventilator machines are mainly used in significant and specialized hospitals. It helps get oxygen into the lungs, removes carbon dioxide from the body, helps a patient breathe more comfortably, and supports breathe for people who lose all ability to breathe naturally.
A ventilator is used for short periods, such as during surgery when you’re under general anesthesia or during treatment for severe lung disease or other condition that affects normal breathing. Some people may suffer from severe ailments. They need to use ventilators for an extended period or even for the rest of their lives.
WORKING OF VENTILATORS
A ventilator makes use of pressure to blow air into the lungs. This pressure is known as positive pressure. A patient usually exhales the breath, but even sometimes, the ventilator does it for them.
The quality and amount of oxygen received by the patient can be controlled by a monitor attached to the ventilator. When the patient’s condition is fragile, the monitor will be set up to send an alarm to the medics to indicate an increase in air pressure.
The ventilator helps by pushing oxygen to the lungs and getting carbon dioxide out of the patient’s lungs. The action allows a patient was facing trouble breathing to receive the proper quantity of life-saving oxygen. Ventilators help the patient’s body to heal quicker as it reduces the amount of the extra energy used for labored breathing by the patient.
A ventilator blows air into the air passage through a tube. The first end of the tube is inserted into the patient’s trachea, and the second end is joined to the ventilator. The tube serves as an airway by letting air and oxygen from the ventilator flow into the lungs. The patient’s medical condition makes it able to decide between a respiratory mask and breathing tubes.
EXPECTATIONS WHEN ON A VENTILATOR
Expectations depend on the level of severity of the illness of the patient. Some people can resume regular activities like reading or watching television. Some others are required to be restricted to prevent pulling out of respiratory tubes.
Caregivers or patients or also need to learn how to provide suctioning to prevent mucus from blocking the tubes.
Ventilators usually don’t cause pain. The breathing tube in the patient’s airway sometimes causes a bit of discomfort. Another most frustrating aspect of a ventilator is that patient is unable to speak and eat. Instead of food, the medics may give nutrients through inserted tubes into a vein. When a patient is kept on a ventilator for an extended period, they will likely get food through a nasogastric or feeding tube.
A ventilator greatly restricts activity and limits the movement of the patient. They may be allowed to sit up in bed or a chair but can’t move around much.
But, the only silver lining with a ventilator situation is that a ventilator doesn’t cause any pain to the patient. However, there is a transition period where the patient may experience some discomfort while they get used to the device. Once the patient’s condition has improved, there is usually a “weaning off” period to get the person used to breathing on their own before removing the ventilator.