med 610 clinical respiratory diseases & critcare med

Mechanical Ventilation

Knowing when and how to implement invasive and non-invasive mechanical ventilation is one of the core competencies of the Pulmonary and Critical Care physicians. This page provides several resources to help you gain skills in this area including:

  • A primer on mechanical ventilation
  • Clinical cases in mechanical ventilation
  • Information regarding how to set-up hands-on training sessions with respiratory therapists at each clinical site.
  • Access to additional educational resources on mechanical ventilation

A Primer on Mechanical Ventilation

A Primer on Mechanical Ventilation is a tutorial written by David J Pierson MD.

Print primer [252k PDF*]

Clinical Cases In Mechanical Ventilation

Each case provides clinical scenarios and includes questions which illustrate core principles in the initiation, management and termination of mechanical ventilation.
Go to cases>>

The answers are available via a link at the bottom of each case. You are encouraged to try and answer the questions in the cases on your own before viewing the answers.

Download case document [76k MSWord doc]
Download answer document [128k MSWord doc]

Hands-on Training in Mechanical Ventilation

During the course of their rotation, students at each of the three clinical sites will have the opportunity to obtain hands-on training in the principles of mechanical ventilation from leading respiratory therapists at each of the institutions. Students will learn about the various modes of invasive and non-invasive ventilation while breathing on actual ventilators with the aid of a mouthpiece.

Because of unanticipated variability in workload on the services and on the part of the respiratory therapists, these sessions are not scheduled in advance. Instead, it is the responsibility of the students to contact the lead Respiratory Therapist at their clinical site in order to arrange a time for this session. The lead Respiratory Therapist for each site and their contact information is as follows:

Students are highly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity.

Additional Reading Materials


The E-reserves page that has been established for this course contains a folder of articles dedicated to the topic of mechanical ventilation as well as a folder with articles about airway management: (UWNet ID required)

Murray and Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine 4th Ed

This book contains an excellent chapter on mechanical ventilation. It can be accessed through Clinical Key (UWNet ID required).

HuBio 541 Syllabus

The syllabus for HuBio 541 The Respiratory System contains a chapter on Respiratory Therapy which includes a discussion of both invasive and non-invasive modes of mechanical ventilation: (UWNet ID required)

  • Scroll down and click on Chapter 24 Respiratory Care.

Pocket Cards on Mechanical Ventilation

Download a series of pocket cards [138k PDF*] that provide concise information about different aspects of mechanical ventilation

  • These cards were created by Dr. Carrie Chun, a former UW Pulmonary and Critical Care fellow and are a great resource to have available when you are working in the ICU.

*Software capable of displaying a PDF is required for viewing or printing. You may download a free copy of Adobe Reader from the Adobe website.

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