Mechanical Ventilation: Troubleshooting (Respiratory Therapy)
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If the cause of an alarm cannot be identified and corrected quickly, remove the patient from the ventilator and begin manual ventilation with a manual resuscitation bag (MRB).
To maintain patient safety, never disable alarms.
Mechanical ventilator alarms are used to warn of changes in patient or ventilator status. All alarms should be set according to the patient’s condition and per the organization’s practice. For patient safety, alarms should never be disabled.
Some essential alarms on the ventilator include ventilator inoperative (vent INOP), power failure, no gas delivery to the patient, low peak inspiratory pressure (PIP), low tidal volume (VT), low or high minute volume (MV), low positive end-expiratory pressure and continuous positive airway pressure (PEEP–CPAP), apnea, inspiratory:expiratory (I:E) ratio, high-pressure limit, high respiratory rate, and low or high fraction of inspired oxygen (FIO2). The brand-specific mechanical ventilator manual should be consulted for all available alarms and troubleshooting options.
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