If you or a loved one has been hospitalized and is now facing the prospect of returning home with a ventilator machine, you may be feeling overwhelmed.
What do you need to know about using a ventilator machine in your own home? How will this impact your life? This article will discuss everything you need to know about ventilators for home use.
We will cover questions such as what a ventilator machine is, types, and factors to consider when buying a ventilator machine for home use. Let's jump right in!
How Does a Ventilator Work?
A ventilator is a life support device that helps patients breathe when they cannot do so on their own. The machine has breathing tubes that go into the person's nose or mouth and down their throat to their lungs. It also can be equipped with a mask that goes over the person's nose and mouth. A ventilator works by pumping air (containing oxygen) into the person's lungs and then sucks the air (containing CO2) back out. This process is called ventilation.
These machines can be used for a short time, such as when someone has a cold, or they can be used for a long time, in case someone has a disease like COPD or pneumonia. While ventilators are life saving devices, they should be used with care under the supervision of respiratory therapists.
Types of Ventilators
There are two types of ventilator machines: Invasive and non-invasive ventilators.
Face Mask Ventilator
A face mask ventilator is a non-invasive ventilator that helps a person breathe. It is worn over the mouth and nose, and it attaches to a machine that blows air into the lungs.
As the Covid-19 pandemic spreads, health care providers are increasingly using non-invasive ventilators to help patients with respiratory distress. This helps to keep the patient's airways open and improve oxygenation.
The mechanical ventilator is a more advanced, invasive device used in an intensive care unit. It is not to be confused with a portable liquid oxygen system that helps deliver air into the lungs. A mechanical ventilator is typically used when someone cannot breathe independently. It delivers oxygen to the lungs and removes carbon dioxide from the body. This can benefit people with chronic lung conditions, such as COPD or emphysema. Mechanical ventilators can also be used temporarily, such as after surgery.
Additionally, one can choose a portable ventilator machine that is easy to use on the go. These machines can play an important role in caring for patients who require non-invasive or invasive ventilation.
If you're considering a mechanical ventilator, it's important to talk to your doctor to see whether it's the right treatment option. There are some risks associated with using them, but you can minimize them with proper care.
Who Needs a Ventilator?
Here are some individuals who may need to use a ventilator machine:
Patients undergoing heart or lung surgery may need a ventilator to breathe while they recover. This is because the surgery can sometimes interfere with the body's natural ability to breathe.
People With Lung Disorders
People with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), asthma, or other lung disorders that limit their ability to breathe independently may need a ventilator. Others may require an invasive ventilator connected to a breathing machine (regular or mechanical).
Heart Attack and Other Heart Problems
Doctors may recommend using ventilators to support breathing during a heart attack. However, it's not a cure for the problem. Heart attack patients often need other treatments to heal their damaged hearts or lungs. In some cases, tube-feeding/tube-based ventilation is needed to stabilize the person's condition.
Babies born prematurely may also need a ventilator to support their breathing. Premature babies may not be able to breathe on their own because they were born too early or have a lung disorder. The ventilator helps them breathe when they're unable to do so independently.
How to Choose the Right Ventilator for Home Use
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a ventilator for home use. These factors include the following:
Type of Respiratory Illness
There are many types of respiratory illnesses, and each one may require a different type of ventilator machine. Be sure to consult with your doctor or medical team to find the best machine for your specific needs.
One of the most important factors to consider when searching for a ventilator for home use is filter quality. The Filter Quality Rating (FQR) measures how well a ventilator removes particles from the air, and it is important to choose a model with a high FQR. The higher the FQR is, the cleaner the air will be.
Additionally, it is important to consider the size of the filter. A larger filter will be able to remove more particles, but it may also be more expensive. Ultimately, it is up to the consumer to decide what size and FQR are right for their needs.
The cost varies widely depending on the model, brand, and provider. One thing to consider is that all ventilators have a lifespan, and some can cost hundreds of dollars to operate. This is where it may be best to ask your physician or health insurance provider for help finding a local provider and read reviews online, as some providers advertise inexpensive devices.
Size and Portability
Another factor to consider when choosing a ventilator machine is its size and portability. If you plan on traveling with your machine, you will want one that is compact and easy to transport. Some ventilator machines come with carrying cases or bags specifically designed for this purpose.
Consider Your Needs Now and Down the Road
Common needs change with age and medical history. Talk with your healthcare provider to learn what features are important in a ventilator and how they might influence your decision-making process.
Numerous brands are available, and each has a different reputation and price tag. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about the recommended brands and models for your type of ventilator.
Some ventilators make a quiet, soothing hum. Others are noisy and may be uncomfortable for you or your family members. Some even have switches that reduce the noise level in different settings.
Ease of Use
When a ventilator machine is easy to use, you can be sure you are using it correctly. This is especially important if you have never used one before. Look for a machine with clear instructions, and ask your medical team for help if needed.
It is important to keep your ventilator machine clean and well-maintained. This includes regularly cleaning the machine and the tubes and other parts that come into contact with your skin. Additionally, you will want to avoid using any chemicals or cleaners that could release fumes, as these can be dangerous for people on ventilators.
You will also need to change the filter on your machine regularly. Consult your device manual for specific maintenance requirements.
Consider Your Home's Ventilation
When using a ventilator machine at home, it is important to make sure your home has good ventilation. This means ensuring there is enough fresh air circulating throughout the house. You may need to open windows or use a fan to help circulate the air. Also, be sure to keep the area around your ventilator machine clean and free of dust.
What Are The Risks of Being on a Ventilator?
There are some risks associated with being on a ventilator, but they are usually very minor. The most common complication is pneumonia, which can occur when liquids build up in the lungs. This can usually be treated with antibiotics. Other risks include bleeding, infection, and damage to the vocal cords.
A ventilator machine can be a vital piece of equipment for people with certain respiratory illnesses. It is important to consult with your doctor or medical team to find the best machine for your needs. Keep your ventilator machine clean and well-maintained, and make sure your home has good ventilation when using your machine.
If you have any questions about ventilator machines, ask your doctor or medical team. They will be able to help you find the best machine for your needs and ensure that you are using it correctly.
Now that you are an expert on ventilators, do you think you might need one? No Insurance Medical Supplies can help with that!