Mechanical ventilation means that a machine is used to help you breathe. If you have COPD, you may need this treatment when your symptoms, such as shortness of breath, quickly get worse. This is called a COPD exacerbation, or flare-up.
This treatment is most often used just until you can breathe better. In rare cases, it is used for a long period of time in your home or a care facility. This is called chronic or long-term mechanical ventilation.
A mask that has been sized correctly for you is placed on your face. It covers either your noseor your nose and mouth. A machine then helps your breathing. This helps decrease the work of breathing and givesyou more oxygen.
This treatment may be used if a COPD flare-up makes it hard to breathe but you're still able to breathe on your own.
A breathing tube is placed in your mouth. The tube goes into your windpipe. A machine then helps with your breathing. In severe cases, the machine may breathe for you while your lung function improves. Medicines are given to help keep you as comfortable as possible. The breathing tube is removed when you are better and can breathe on your own.
Your doctor may give you this type of ventilation if you have a very severe COPD flare-up that doesn't get better with other treatment. You may get this type if:
Talk with your doctor and your family ahead of time about what kind of treatment you want for COPD flare-ups.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter I268 in the search box to learn more about "Learning About Mechanical Ventilation for COPD".
Current as of: December 6, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine & Hasmeena Kathuria, MD - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Sleep Medicine
©2006-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.