Ventilator/Ventilator Support Who Needs a Ventilator
You may need a ventilator in an emergency if a condition makes it difficult to breathe on your own (called respiratory failure). You may also need a ventilator during surgery.
Respiratory failure can be a life-threatening emergency. When you can’t breathe well, your organs cannot get enough oxygen to work. Sometimes, too much carbon dioxide, a waste gas from your body’s cells, can build up in your blood. This needs to be breathed out.
Many conditions and injuries can affect your breathing. Examples include:
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
- Head injury or stroke
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or other lung diseases
- Cardiac arrest
- Drug overdose
- Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, which is a breathing problem that can affect newborns, especially premature babies
- , which is an infection in your bloodstream
- Spinal cord injuries, polio, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), myasthenia gravis, and other diseases that affect the nerves and muscles involved in breathing
You may need a ventilator if you are going to have surgery with general anesthesia (medicine that makes you sleepy and stops you from feeling pain). The medicines used for anesthesia can affect your normal breathing. A ventilator helps control your breathing.