Sedating the ventilated patient


A small child requires a much smaller tube than an adult, and placing the tube may require a higher degree of precision because the airway is so much smaller.

In some cases, a fiber optic scope, a tool that allows the person putting the breathing tube in to watch the process on a monitor, is used to make intubation easier.

Reassurance is necessary, and emotional preparation for surgery will vary depending on the patient's age.

A patient who will be on the ventilator for a procedure and then extubated when the procedure is completed will not requiring feeding, but may receive fluids through an IV.

Intubation is the process of inserting a tube, called an endotracheal tube (ET), through the mouth and then into the airway.

This is done so that a patient can be placed on a ventilator to assist with breathing during anesthesia, sedation, or severe illness.

There is a small balloon around the tube that is inflated to hold the tube in place and to keep air from escaping.

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The medical team will assess and be aware of these potential risks, and do what they can to address them.

The tube is then connected to a ventilator, which pushes air into the lungs to deliver a breath to the patient.

This process is done because the patient cannot maintain their airway, cannot breathe on their own without assistance, or both.

Most patients are extubated, meaning the breathing tube is removed, immediately after surgery.

If they patient is very ill or having difficulty breathing on their own, they may remain on the ventilator a longer period of time.

Intubation is required when general anesthesia is given.

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