Mechanical Ventilation

  • Neil T. Bennett
  • T. James Gallagher


Positive pressure mechanical ventilation was first introduced during the polio epidemic in the 1950s (1,2), but its usefulness in managing other causes of respiratory failure quickly became apparent. Today, positive pressure mechanical ventilators represent an essential component of patient management. Increased experience has propelled our understanding of pulmonary physiology and respiratory mechanics. As a result, new modes of ventilation such as pressure support ventilation (PSV), pressure control ventilation (PCV), and proportional assist ventilation (PAV) have proliferated. Each of these modes reflects an attempt by ventilator designers to meet the following goals: 1) provide adequate oxygenation and ventilation, 2) minimize parenchymal injury, 3) rehabilitate fatigued respiratory muscles, and 4) promote successful weaning. Unfortunately, the perfect mode of ventilation that accomplishes these goals in all situations has not been developed. In this chapter, the indications for mechanical ventilation and the functional characteristics of common ventilatory modes along with their relative advantages and disadvantages are discussed. In addition, the expanding role of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation and interventions to successfully wean the patient from mechanical ventilation are reviewed.


Mechanical Ventilation Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Airway Pressure Respiratory Muscle Pressure Support 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil T. Bennett
    • 1
  • T. James Gallagher
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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