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2minRN: Vent Alarms

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[fusion_text]Okay, let’s talk about Vent Alarms and exactly what you have to know for the in plugs about Vent Alarms. I can almost 100% guarantee you, you’re going to get a question with us. Quickly let’s talk about the vent basics. The ventilator is going to deliver oxygen into the patients lungs under positive pressure. Meaning it’s job is to push oxygen in there and force the lungs to inflate.

That’s the opposite of how we naturally breathe, so the ventilator has several different settings and sensors to determine if the patient is receiving that oxygen. Keep in mind, ventilator is pushing oxygen into the lungs. Two different alarms you need to know about for the NCLEX®. First of all it’s gong to be high pressure alarm, and second of all low pressure alarm. When a high pressure alarm sounds, what’s happening is the ventilator is trying to force that oxygen into the lungs, and it’s not able to get it into the lungs.

Some things that are going to cause that, let’s say you have a kinked tube, and so oxygen is coming and then it senses that it’s not able to get in there. It’s pushing and pushing and pushing, but there’s too much pressure here so it’s not able to deliver that oxygen.

Another ones going to be the patient has a lot of secretions. The tube becomes full with the secretions of the patient, or the patients lungs. There’s a lot of secretions in the oral airway or in the actual ET tube so it’s not able to force that oxygen in there. Another one would be the patient biting the tube. Here’s the patients mouth, and they may actually bite down on this tube, so as it’s trying to force oxygen in there it can’t get in there, and it’s going to cause that high pressure alarm.

Another one’s going to be coughing. When the patient cough’s they’re pushing air back out of the lungs. As they’re coughing and expelling that air, and that’s going to cause a high pressure alarm. Let’s talk low pressure real quick. Low pressure, the ventilator’s trying to push this oxygen in, and it sense that there is no pressure. It doesn’t have any effort that it’s trying to work against.

Some things that are going to cause that are going to be primarily disconnection. Disconnection, the tube becomes disconnected from the ventilator, or where the tube goes into the patient’s mouth there’s a disconnection, so it’s just blowing air straight out and not delivering it to the lungs.

Another one would be, and hopefully this doesn’t happen to you, is extubation. The patient actually reaches up, pulls the tube out of their mouth and that would cause the low pressure alarm. That’s really what you need to know about ventilators.

Here’s our tubing if this becomes disconnected, your definitely going to get that low pressure alarm. If this tubing becomes kinked, you’re going to get the high pressure alarm. If the patient bites down right here, and you’re going to get a high pressure alarm. If the patient is coughing or has a lot of secretions in the tube here, your going to get high pressure as the ventilators is trying to deliver that oxygen. All right guys, this is John with Two-Minute RN from NRSNG.com, subscribe for more videos. Have a great day.[/fusion_text]

Date Published - Mar 17, 2015
Date Modified - Apr 26, 2019

Jon Haws RN

Written by Jon Haws RN

Jon Haws RN began his nursing career at a Level I Trauma ICU in DFW working as a code team nurse, charge nurse, and preceptor. Frustrated with the nursing education process, Jon started NRSNG in 2014 with a desire to provide tools and confidence to nursing students around the globe. When he's not busting out content for NRSNG, Jon enjoys spending time with his two kids and wife.