What is the history of the ventilator machine?
The history of mechanical ventilators begins with several versions, which was called an iron lung, a non-invasive negative-pressure ventilator used widely during the polio epidemic of the 20th century when the drinker respirator was newly introduced in 1938, and the improvements made by john Haven Emerson in 1931. Also, the other forms of non-invasive ventilators are immensely used for polio patients including biphasic cuirass ventilation, the rocking bed and primitive pressure machines.
In 1949, John Haven Emerson, with the cooperation of the anaesthesia department at Harvard University, invented a mechanical assister. The use of mechanical ventilators increased in anaesthesia and intensive care during the 1950s.
The development of mechanical ventilation was triggered by the need to treat polio patients and the increasing use of muscle relaxants during anaesthesia. Relaxant drugs improve the operating conditions for the surgeon by paralysing the patient, but also paralyse the respiratory muscles. Keeping the view, Bjorn Aage Ibsen set up the world’s first medical ICU utilizing muscle relaxants.
How long does a stroke patient stay in ICU?
Usually, the stay for stroke patients in ICU is from 4-7 days. The stroke patients are generally shifted from acute care to an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF), a skilled nursing facility or a long term acute care hospital. A stroke declines the mental status of the person and becomes the reason to admit the patient to ICU. A stroke often demands intubation, to protect airways, which is a very critical situation.
The recovery from stroke is a long process and left the patient with some levels of disability. The recovery period varies from person to person and also on the severity of stroke. Some survivors recover quickly within a few days, while some may take six months or longer. Also, the mortality rate of stroke survivors has increased with time.
What are ventilators and why they are so important amid the coronavirus crisis?
Ventilators are mechanical breathing machines that provide continuous air pressure into the lungs to carry out respiration ( a process of intake of oxygen to break glucose into energy to generate energy with the release of carbon dioxide). The demand for ventilators suddenly elevated exponentially amid the covid-19 crisis because of the massive respiratory illness cases. Covid-19 is a harmful virus that attacks the respiratory system and affects normal breathing resulting in severe issues such as shortness of breath, low levels of oxygen and loss of consciousness. Numerous covid-19 patients were on ventilators during the crisis.
Ventilation can be given by either invasive or non-invasive procedures. The non-invasive procedure involves using a face mask to deliver oxygen, while invasive procedures involve a surgical method to deliver oxygen such as intubation and tracheostomy.
Hence, ventilators worked as a life saviour amid covid-19 along with the medications.
Also Read :-
Why is the ventilator instead of an oxygen cylinder so important?
The oxygen cylinder works as an oxygen reservoir, while the ventilator is a machine attached to that reservoir and to the patient’s mouth. Hence, ventilators are important to utilize those oxygen cylinders and transfer oxygen to the patient’s lungs. Also, some advanced ventilators are manufactured with their own oxygen storing features, which does not demand a separate oxygen supply. Ventilators are used often in ICU and NICU for various purposes depending on the patient’s requirement. Apart from saving the patient’s life, a ventilator is highly used in the recovery period after surgery and to provide breathing support in neonates. Also, the patient’s who are put on general anaesthesia requires ventilation for a short period. Ventilators have a big role in many respiratory illnesses such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, etc.
How does a ventilator help to recover a coronavirus patient?
Covid -19 is a severe respiratory disease caused by the Corona Virus which is one of the highly transmissible and harmful viruses. The virus enters the body through the nose, mouth and eyes and once reached the airway starts attacking epithelial cells in the airways by invading them. Hence, the airways are highly affected by covid-19 which is managed by a ventilator.
A ventilator supports breathing and have saved many lives during the covid-19 crisis. Ventilators provide a high oxygen content and build pressure in the lungs that assist breathing, also eliminating elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the blood to rebalance the blood’s pH.
Why are patients put on ventilators?
Patients are put on ventilators when they are unable to breathe on their own and going through a critical condition. It could be a harmful disease complication such as asthma, pneumonia, covid-19, lung failure, while on anaesthesia, undergone any surgery.
If the heart, kidney, brain or any other part doesn’t get sufficient oxygen, they don’t function properly as they generally do. In these conditions, the ventilator helps the people to deliver the body require oxygen to function.
The health conditions in which ventilators are used:
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Lung infection
- Myasthenia gravis
- Upper spinal cord injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Brain injury
- Drug overdose
What is ICU? When is it needed? What should an ICU look like?
ICU is an intensive care unit that cares for critically ill patients or those who have life-threatening conditions such as severe injury or disease. ICU cares for their patients 24 hours with highly trained staff. The unit has fewer beds but has lots of medical equipment to treat the patients. These include a ventilator, an oxygen outlet, ECG machine to monitor heartbeat and blood pressure. People with severe illnesses are transferred to ICU to provide the necessary things their body requires and a quick recovery.
ICU by looks is a big room with fewer beds attached to ventilators and a lot of other equipment. Each bed is monitored by many nurses and all wearing gloves, face shields, and gowns to protect themselves from infections. ICU rules are very strict and not everyone can enter there. And if there is a compulsion, they can only enter after wearing protective equipment.