Medical ventilators are mechanical apparatuses which forcibly respires a patient whose lung function is compromised. These machines are considered a "life-critical system" since patients rely on the device to complete the biological exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, which would otherwise result in organ tissue damage and death. Several failsafes are built into medical ventilators so power or suspension outage does not affect ventilator performance.
Medical ventilators respire a patient's lungs via a breathing tube. This tube is supplied with ambient air or an air/oxygen mixture through a compressor or turbine. When the lungs reach capacity, the natural elasticity of the tissue forces the air out through an exhaust known as a patient manifold. A series of interfaces and displays allow parameters such as pressure, volume, flow, air leakage, operating efficiency, backup systems, and gas supply to be measured by healthcare professionals, such as respiratory therapists.
Images credits: National Institute of Health; Wikimedia