Understanding mechanical ventilation must start with a review of the physiology and mechanics of normal spontaneous breathing. Spontaneous breathing is defined as movement of air into and out of the lungs as a result of work done by an individual’s respiratory muscles. Positive pressure ventilation, on the other hand, is defined as movement of air into the lungs by the application of positive pressure to the airway through an endotracheal tube, tracheostomy tube, or noninvasive mask.
KeywordsSpontaneous breathing Positive pressure ventilation Pleural space Pleural pressure Transpulmonary pressure Lung elastic recoil pressure Alveolar pressure Airway resistance Proximal airway pressure Flow
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