How Long Can A Person Be On A Ventilator (And Why)?

Exact Time: Within 24 hours

A ventilator is a type of machine that breathes for you or helps you breathe in if you are unable to breathe as you may be suffering from any sort of breathing problems. It supplies oxygen into your body. It is sometimes known as a breathing machine or respirator. It is attached to a computer which is having knobs and buttons that are being controlled by a respiratory therapist, nurse, or doctor. Doctors set the ventilators to control how much oxygen you want.

If you are on a ventilator you are in ICU that is an intensive care unit. A ventilator needs electricity to run. It uses air full of oxygen and then blows it into your lungs.

How Long Can A Person Be On A Ventilator?

People need to be on a ventilator for a few hours or require one, two, or sometimes three weeks. But if a person has to be on a ventilator for a long time period then he may require Tracheostomy. Tracheostomy is nothing but a temporary or permanent procedure that a doctor creates a hole or opening in which a pipe can be inserted into that person’s windpipe. This is inserted below the vocal cords. It allows air to enter the lungs easily. This tube is so connected to the ventilator.

People who are over 65 years and require an emergency ventilator for their survival. Only about 2 out of 3 survive to leave the hospital. Such old people whose conditions are chronic have more disorders after ventilator use and less survival rates.

In many cases, like in surgeries, ventilators are only used for a few hours up to a few days. But sometimes the ventilator is used for days to weeks by the people depending upon their conditions. Example like:  pneumonia problems or any sort of lung injury.

If a person needs a ventilator for a long time there would be a higher chance of long-term complications like weakness, becomes dependent on their family, depression, or anxiety. For those who are above the age of 70 or those with some sort of health problems, the chances of complications are higher for a long period of time.

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Why Does It Takes So Long For A Person To Be On A Ventilator?

Basically, it depends upon how critical the conditions of a man are and also which diseases they are having and how much time they require to become fit and healthy. Babies and children if needed a medical ventilator then is for a shorter period of duration so that they can recover from any health-related issues or problems.

Some points like while a person needs ventilation support during surgery. As it acts as temporary breathing when you are given a sedative or anesthesia. Sometimes while recovering from surgery you may need ventilation as it helps them to breathe for hours or even after the surgery is done

Some conditions like coma, brain injury drug overdoses, collapsed lung, pneumonia, polio, infection of lungs, also strokes, etc. can take ventilators for a long time.

Conclusion

If you are on a ventilator you can neither eat nor drink. Nutrition can be given through a tube that is fitted in your nose. Also, you cannot talk. You have only one choice to communicate through writing a note. But this is rare as many people even can’t communicate as they are very close to death.

If someone lives on a ventilator there are many risks associated with it: infection, irritation, lung injury, vocal cord issues, skin infections, and also blood clots. Basically, ventilators are breathing machine that keeps making a person breathing but can’t treat health-related issues. Ventilators can be important for babies, children, and adults also can be a lifesaver too.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012369215325204
  2. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA99907696&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=10651438&p=AONE&sw=w
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