General Question

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

What is a ventilator and how does it work?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (16737points) 1 month ago

Also how much does one cost?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

13 Answers

Caravanfan's avatar

It’s a machine that blows air into a patient through a tube that is placed into the trachea. They are expensive.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Caravanfan Are the bag valve masks readily available and are they effective? I think it would be relatively easy to automate one of those using about $50 worth of parts from home depot.

Caravanfan's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Yes for the first, and no for the second. They are a temporizing measure only.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Caravanfan If automated though would they be better than nothing? Meaning would they save lives of people in queue waiting for a real one?

Caravanfan's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me It’s not automated. You still need someone to push the mask on the patient’s face.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Caravanfan Are we beyond using duct tape for holding the masks on? I know they are not automated, I’m saying it would be easy to automate them. I’m not a doctor so I don’t know what good they would do if we were able to get them to operate on their own.

Caravanfan's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me No, it doesn’t work that way. BVM is only a bridge prior to intubation.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Figured that may have been the case.

RocketGuy's avatar

So it pushes air in, then lets it out rhythmically? Does the patient’s breathing control that, or is it on its own timing?

Caravanfan's avatar

@RocketGuy Yes, yes, and yes. It’s complicated. Ventilators are demand driven, so if a patient initiates a breath, the ventilator will deliver. But if the patient is apneic, then the ventilator will deliver at whatever rate you set. That’s the basics.

RocketGuy's avatar

Ah, I was wondering whether a simple motor + battery could run it, but apparently not if the rate needs to be controlled by the patient or by the medical staff.

Caravanfan's avatar

@RocketGuy A simple motor and battery could operate a ventilator. It just wouldn’t be sophisticated. There are simple ventilators out there. I thought you were asking about the ones I generally use. For example, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta5xQcXug3k

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