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The Basics of Mechanical Ventilation

Author: Noah Carpenter, MD and Dana Bartlett, RN, BSN, MSN, MA, CSPI and Kellie Wilson, PharmD

CE: 2.5 hours Pharmacology: 0.5 hour
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 6955 reviews

Course Summary

Mechanical ventilation is a life-saving treatment to support patients that are unable to ventilate and oxygenate on their own. Mechanically ventilated patients often receive medication for sedation and pain control that require a qualified interdisciplinary team to administer and evaluate outcomes. The skills required by health teams to manage a ventilation unit are typically standardized to ensure safe handling of ventilation equipment and for proper management of patients during their course of care. Basic therapeutic modalities of mechanical ventilation and pharmacology needed to support treatment and patient comfort are discussed.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

I.         Introduction
II.         Mechanical Ventilation Technique and Indication
1.        Clinical Signs of Increased Work of Breathing
2.        Hypoxemia
3.        Hypercapnia
4.        Postoperative Respiratory Failure
III.         Modes of Mechanical Ventilation and Ventilator Settings
1.        Assist-Control
2.        Controlled Mechanical Ventilation
3.        Synchronized Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation
4.        Basic Ventilator Settings
IV.         Complications of Mechanical Ventilation
1.        Barotrauma
2.        Gastrointestinal
3.        Oxygen Toxicity
4.        Sinus Infections
5.        Ventilator-Associated Lung Injury
6.        Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia
7.        Intubation
V.         Basic Care for Mechanically Ventilated Patients
1.        Suctioning
2.        Endotracheal Suctioning
VI.        Sedation During Mechanical Ventilation
1.        Benzodiazepines
2.        Butyrophenones
3.        Dexmedetomidine
4.        Ketamine
5.        Fentanyl
6.        Propofol
VII.        Pain Assessment and Control
VIII.       Psychological Care
IX.        Ventilator Bundles
1.        Daily Sedation Interruption
2.        Deep Vein Thrombosis Prophylaxis
3.        Closed Suctioning and Subglottic Suctioning
4.        Endotracheal Cuff Pressure
5.        Oral Care: Chlorhexidine and Chlorhexidine Bathing
6.        Peptic Ulcer Prophylaxis
7.        Patient Positioning, Enteral Feedings, and Aspiration
X.         Weaning from Mechanical Ventilation
XI.         Case Study: Ventilated Patient with Malignant Hyperthermia
XII.         Summary


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