Frequently Asked Questions
How do you care for a ventilator patient?
The pulmonologist will review the patient’s daily report a minimum of twice per day. By closely monitoring patient’s oxygenation, respiratory rate, pattern and vital signs and through reviewing medical notes and progress notes one should be able to ensure that proper airway management and ventilation settings are in place.
Can a nurse manage a ventilator?
The ICU nurse's most important role is to provide continuous observation and evaluation of a patient. To do this, he or she must first be able to assess the evolving status of the patient. This does not simply mean being aware of the physical changes that take place in the patient, such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygenation (oxygen saturation), but also paying attention to large-scale physiological changes that can have an impact on that patient's stability, such as electrolyte imbalance, changes in cardiac output due to hypotension and anemia, hypovolemia with urinary loss or gastrointestinal bleeding. It is these complications that are more often than not treated by the nurse without any input from the physician or other health professionals - directly affecting the nurse's ability to take appropriate action. Clinical Nurse Specialist Donald E.Jipes MD reviewed my house-call data in detail and agreed with my assessment in a professional tone: Patients with stable hemodynamics responding well to fluid therapy deserve nursing care only if they cannot be cared for effectively by physicians or other hospital personnel adequately trained in advanced techniques; hospital policies and administrative directives notwithstanding.
Who needs a ventilator?
Respiratory failure (RFA) is the inability of a person's lungs to provide enough oxygen to the body. The body can lose its ability to take in oxygen from the air, without being able to expel carbon dioxide. This results in decreased circulation, increased acidity of the blood, and other harmful effects on the body. Respiratory failure can occur as a complication of many conditions in people with and without heart disease.
How long do COVID-19 patients stay on a ventilator?
A patient may or may not need to be on a ventilator. Depending on the patient and their progress, they may be on a ventilator for a few hours or potentially for one to three weeks. A ventilator is a mechanical device used to keep air flowing in and out of your body. If a patient needs breathing help for a longer period of time, a tracheostomy is used. A tracheostomy makes a hole in the front of the neck and inserts a tube into the trachea (windpipe), connecting it to an artificial airway so that breathing can take place while the person recovers from their injury or illness. A person who has undergone a tracheotomy will require someone to assist with breathing because they are unable to do it themselves.