A ventilator assists with breathing during general anesthetic procedures and post-operatively for patients who require prolonged respiratory assistance.
FREMONT, CA: A ventilator, alternatively referred to as a respirator or breathing machine, is medical equipment that supplies oxygen to a person who cannot breathe on their own. The ventilator softly pulls air into the lungs and naturally expel it, just as the lungs do during normal breathing.
A ventilator is required during any surgery that involves general anesthesia. Additionally, a ventilator may be required following surgery if the patient cannot breathe on their own immediately following the treatment.
This article discusses when and why a ventilator is necessary.
General anesthesia is used during surgery to paralyze the body's muscles temporarily. This comprises the muscles that control our inhalation and exhalation. Without a ventilator, breathing would be impossible during general anesthesia.
The majority of patients are placed on a ventilator during surgery and subsequently given medication to reverse the anesthetic effects. Once the anesthetic wears off, the patient can breathe independently and is taken off the ventilator.
A ventilator is required when a patient who has undergone surgery cannot breathe, usually enough to supply oxygen to the brain and body.
Due to accident or sickness, specific individuals are unable to breathe, usually enough following surgery to be withdrawn from the ventilator. This could be because of low lung function before surgery when patients suffer from lung damage caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) conditions.
Additionally, this might occur due to trauma, illness, or another major medical problem. A patient on a ventilator before surgery will almost certainly stay on it following surgery until they can breathe normally on their own.
Specific procedures necessitate a brief period on a ventilator following the procedure. For instance, patients undergoing open-heart surgery are routinely kept on a ventilator until they can lift their heads off their pillow and respond to simple directions. They are not given any medication to induce arousal; instead, the anesthetic is permitted to wear off naturally.