What are the classifications of mechanical positive-pressure ventilators?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Christopher D Jackson, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Modern ventilators are classified by their method of cycling from the inspiratory phase to the expiratory phase. That is, they are named after the parameter that signals the termination of the positive-pressure inspiration cycle of the machine. The signal to terminate the inspiratory activity of the machine is either a preset volume (for a volume-cycled ventilator), a preset pressure limit (for a pressure-cycled ventilator), or a preset time factor (for a time-cycled ventilator).

Volume-cycled ventilation is the most common form of ventilator cycling used in adult medicine because it provides a consistent breath-to-breath tidal volume. Termination of the delivered breath is signaled when a set volume leaves the ventilator.

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