Monday, November 16, 2009

Mechanical ventilation 101---understanding the modes

This review in CCJM can be considered a companion paper to an earlier one I linked here, explaining the terminology of modes of mechanical ventilation. The CCJM review bridges the gap between theory and practice, focusing more on clinical application. It briefly covers basic terminology and focuses on newer (“alternative”) modes:

We call these innovations “alternative” modes to differentiate them from the plain volume-control and pressure-control modes. Some clinicians rarely use these new modes, but in some medical centers they have become the most common ones used, or are being used unknowingly (the operator misunderstands the mode name).

Say, for example, your hospital uses Dräger ventilators. You order CMV, and dial in a tidal volume. Think your patient's getting simple volume controlled ventilation? Think again.

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