For respiratory conditions, COVID-19 included, older individuals are more likely to be placed on a ventilator. If you've heard the term being thrown around in the news, you might wonder: what's a ventilator? What are ventilators used for? How do they work? Are there any risks to being put on one?
This simple overview will answer all your questions and hopefully ease your worries.
What Are Ventilators?
Respiratory ventilators, also known as respirators or breathing machines, aid a patient's lungs in the breathing process. They're lifesaving devices for ill, injured, or sedated patients who are struggling to breathe or can't breathe at all.
Ventilators use pressure to blow oxygen into the lungs and remove excess carbon dioxide.
Breathing tubes, placed through the nose or mouth, connect the ventilator to a patient's body. The process of inserting the tubes is referred to as intubation. Under rare circumstances, the breathing tubes are placed through a cut-out hole in the neck.
Ventilators come with a few different components and safety features that make things easy for the doctor to monitor and control.
Ventilators Key to Breathing
So, what are ventilators used for? Ventilators treat a wide range of respiratory and lung-related conditions and can be used as a breathing aid during surgeries.
General anesthesia can interfere with a patient's ability to breathe, which makes ventilators a useful tool during shorter operations. Depending on the patient's reaction to the sedative and the type of surgery they've undergone, breathing tubes might be necessary during the recovery period.
Ventilators Essential for Certain Health Conditions
Ventilators help patients who are struggling to breathe independently, whether the cause stems from an injury, illness, or long-lasting conditions. Conditions that potentially require the use of a ventilator include:
- ALS, or Lou Gerhig's disease
- coma or loss of consciousness
- brain injury
- collapsed lung
- drug overdose
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
- lung infection
In the past few months, respirators are being used to treat COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms. Despite its risks, intubating patients has proven effective. For people experiencing severe respiratory issues, the use of a ventilator correlates with a lowered chance of morbidities and death.
Risks of Ventilator Use
Ventilators have their benefits, but they don't come without risks.
They can irritate a patient's lungs and make it difficult to cough. Respirators can also cause issues with the vocal cords, potentially damaging them. While uncommon, lung injury can occur, and other risks, such as skin infections and blood clots, can also emerge.
Things to Keep in Mind
If you're put on a ventilator, it's because a trained medical profession feels it's the best overall course for preserving your health. The process might be scary, but it's done to help, not harm you.
The process itself is simple. Sleeping pills and other medication will put you at ease, and doctors will carefully monitor your condition closely while you are on the ventilator.
Some people require to be on a ventilator for an extended period of time. In that case, the person will most likely require to be in some form of long-term care facility that provides full-time care.
For ventilator patients with an endotracheal tube, who typically cannot breathe independently, they typically will need full-time extended care.
Patients can have difficulties recovering from being taken off a ventilator. It can take several days, even weeks, for them to breathe well on their own.
There's good news, though—most people recover from the aftereffects and live the rest of their lives normally.
About the Author
Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.
Contributor since September 25th, 2020
The problem of long-term care is both a cash flow issue and a family issue. Preparing your family and finances for the financial costs and burdens associated with long-term health care is key to enjoying a successful future retirement.
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance offers you the guaranteed tax-free resources to give you access to your choice of quality extended care services either in your own home or in a facility. You will have the ability to maintain control and independence, safeguard income and assets, and reduce the stress otherwise placed on those you love.
LTC NEWS Resources Help You Find Solutions
There are many resources available on LTC NEWS that help educate you about the options available to you for safeguard savings and income and reduce the stress on your loved ones. As you prepare for your future retirement, better consider the physical, emotional, and financial burdens that get placed on you and your family.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS by clicking here. One of the resources is the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, which shows you the current and future cost of long-term health care.
You can compare the major Long-Term Care Insurance policies and get free and accurate quotes by clicking here.
Find a Trusted and Qualified LTC Specialist
Getting the right professional guidance is especially important with this type of insurance coverage. Most financial advisors and general insurance agents lack the expertise in this area, and they lack the access to all the major products that area available to consumers. Premiums can vary by over 100% between insurance companies, so a skilled and trusted professional will help you navigate the many companies and options.
A qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will help you obtain the best coverage at the best value. Discover your trusted pro by clicking here.
Advertising and Marketing Opportunities on LTC NEWS
LTC NEWS offers many marketing and advertising opportunities, including sponsored content and sponsorship of the website's most popular areas. These marketing opportunities are ideal for businesses, including, but not limited to:
- adult day care centers
- assisted living facilities
- financial advisors
- home health agencies
- memory care facilities
- nursing homes
- real estate professionals
- rehab facilities
- senior living centers
If your business wants to reach people planning for their retirement and long-term care options or the decision-makers who are researching care options for a parent or loved one, LTC NEWS is a great option.
You can also purchase sponsored content – a long-form article to express your insight experience and services.
Contact the advertising department by clicking here.