If an alarm occurs, the caregiver should always evaluate the patient before checking the ventilator. Always check to make sure the patient is still connected to the ventilator and all circuits/tubing are tightly connected, and not kinked or blocked in any way.
There are important differences in alarm setup and responses between ventilators and even between the different circuit types on the same ventilator.
It is vitally important to be aware of the type of breathing circuit setup in use and whether, with that setup, the volume alarms are related to inspiratory or expiratory volume measurements.
An agitated or fatigued patient may have an increase in respiratory rate. Sedated patients or patients with impaired neuromuscular function may also have a decreased respiratory rate.
Low volume expiratory alarms typically are caused by air leaks.
Low volume inspiratory alarms may be caused by mucous plugging, a need for suctioning, tube obstruction, a slower respiratory rate or shallow breathing.
The information and guidance presented on this website is informational only and not intended to influence practice or supersede the instructions for use of any specific device.