Breathing is a vital process for all living beings. A single improper breath can makes you feel very uncomfortable. When a patient is critical, the body cells uses more amount of oxygen than usual; for this purpose, a mechanical ventilator is used which provides life-sustaining oxygen to the patient whose body is in dire need of oxygen. Putting a patient on a ventilator needs a meticulous system which needs to be processed with diligent care by an experienced medical team.

A mechanical ventilator is usually found in hospitals or even in a rehabilitation centre. Ventilator is used to aid the breathing process in individuals having breathing troubles. Its working is very similar to the work that our lungs carry out. It supplies oxygen to the lungs and takes out carbon dioxide from it which is a waste gas. In cases where the lungs don’t function properly, it becomes very essential to eliminate the toxic gases so that the body condition doesn’t deteriorate further.

What happens if you discontinue ventilation support?

Ventilators are only support systems; they do not help cure any ailment or disease. However, it’s a life-saving invention. Ventilators are designed with a pump that pushes air (mixture of oxygen and air) into the chest cavity and lungs. Having a good understanding of the techniques of a ventilator by the emergency practitioners is important so as to optimize ventilation and curtail complications. Poor and improper ventilator management can cause severe pulmonary and extra pulmonary damage which may not be identified immediately but will cause problems later.

Discontinuing ventilator support and weaning ventilator support are two very different things. Discontinuation of ventilator support means termination of ventilation in a patient who has been studied for some time and according to doctors that patient does not need ventilation any longer. Weaning off ventilator means gradually dropping the ventilation to see how the patient’s body responds to it.

Weaning off ventilator support system

Weaning-off process starts with a trial where the patient is still attached to the ventilator but is allowed to breathe on their own. Once this trial is successful and a patient is able to breathe properly without the help of a life saving support system, the ventilator is removed.

When is there a need for ventilator?

Ventilators are used on anyone who is under aesthesia during a minor or a major surgery. In conditions like COPD, heart attacks, pneumonia etc. a ventilator comes into play.

Patients who are on a ventilator are at a risk of contracting pneumonia or other respiratory diseases because there are many bacteria present in the breathing tube of a ventilator. Clearing out the irritants in the nose or mouth can also be difficult when you or your loved one is on a ventilator.

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