To place a tube (endotracheal tube/ETT) into the windpipe (trachea) via the mouth or rarely, via the nose. This helps with breathing, prevents airway from being obstructed/block and prevent unwanted material from getting into the lungs. The patient will not be able to talk when the tube is in place, but may be able to communicate by hand gestures, writing or text.
Breathing support using a machine (ventilator) to help with breathing, oxygen delivery and carbon dioxide removal.
To remove the support provided by the breathing machine (ventilator) and the tube (endotracheal tube/ETT) when they are no longer required.
To place a tube (tracheostomy tube) into the windpipe (trachea) via the neck. This involves surgery. This is recommended in certain conditions (such prolonged need for mechanical ventilation or if the patient is expected to take a long time to wake up).
Like intubation, it helps with breathing, prevents airway from being obstructed/block, prevent unwanted material from getting into the lungs and may be more comfortable for the patient. The patient will not be able to talk when the tube is in place, but may be able to communicate by hand gestures, writing or text.
As the patient recovers, the tube can be changed to allow speech, and eventually removal when recovery is complete.
Medication given to make the patient sleepy and possibly, forgetful (amnesia). This is to provide comfort as the breathing tube and mechanical ventilation can be uncomfortable or painful.
To remove secretions or fluid from the windpipe (trachea).
Spontaneous Breathing Trial (SBT)
To reduce the amount of support provided by the breathing machine (ventilator) to assess if the breathing tube can be removed.
Breathing support provided by a machine (BiPAP machine) via a tight fitting face mask. This helps with breathing, improve oxygen delivery, carbon dioxide removal, but without having to place a tube (endotracheal tube/ETT) into the windpipe (trachea). This technique can only be used safely for certain types of condition and selected patients.
Ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP)
Chest infection acquired while on or soon after mechanical ventilation. The breathing tube and mechanical ventilation affects normal lung function and clearance of sputum or phlegm. This increases the risk of infection via the breathing tube.
“Hole in the lung” or Pneumothorax
This condition may arise as a complication of a procedure (central line insertion), due to existing poor lungs or due to high pressures generated by the breathing machine to ensure adequate air exchange. Imagine the lung as a deflated balloon. This condition may be quickly life threatening and is treated by placing a tube into the chest cavity to drain the accumulated gas outside the lung and allowing the deflated lung to re-expand.