Practice question

When and how should you ventilate a child?

Examining the importance of mechanical ventilation in children and why there is a move to non-invasive treatment

Examining the importance of mechanical ventilation and why there is a move to non-invasive treatment

Ventilators play an essential role to support the respiratory system and breathing at several stages in a child’s life.

The purpose of a ventilator is to ensure a child’s lungs receive sufficient air flow for gaseous exchange, to deliver oxygen and remove carbon dioxide, while reducing the effort required by the child to move air in and out of their lungs (Tobin and Manthous 2017) .

In premature infants, for example, Schmalisch (2016) explains that respiratory failure is common due to the structural and functional immaturity of their respiratory systems, so ventilation allows time for immature lungs to develop and grow.

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