Phase Variables

  • Hooman Poor


A ventilator is a machine that delivers a flow of gas for a certain amount of time by increasing proximal airway pressure, which culminates in a delivered tidal volume. Because of the imprecise, inconsistent, and outdated terminology used to describe modern ventilators, many clinicians often misunderstand exactly how a ventilator functions. Understanding the exact instructions that a ventilator follows to deliver a breath for the various modes of ventilation is crucial for optimal ventilator management.


Trigger Target Cycle Baseline Ventilator-triggered breath Patient-triggered breath Assist-control (A/C) 

Suggested Readings

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    Chatburn R, El-Khatib M, Mireles-Cabodevila E. A taxonomy for mechanical ventilation: 10 fundamental maxims. Respir Care. 2014;59:1747–63.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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    MacIntyre N. Design features of modern mechanical ventilators. Clin Chest Med. 2016;37:607–13.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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    MacIntyre N, Branson R. Mechanical ventilation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2009.Google Scholar
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    Tobin M. Principles and practice of mechanical ventilation. 3rd ed. Beijing: McGraw-Hill; 2013.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hooman Poor
    • 1
  1. 1.Mount Sinai – National Jewish Health Respiratory InstituteIcahn School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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