Medical ventilators supply air or other gaseous mixtures to patients through the use of pressure. These devices are used when patients require assistance breathing or are entirely unable to breathe on their own. One vital component that these systems use to function is a pressure sensor.
In this blog post, we'll review how medical ventilators work and the role that pressure sensors play in the functionality of these devices.
How Does a Ventilator Work & When Are They Used?
Hospitals often use medical ventilators as life support devices for patients who are either unable to breathe on their own or experience difficulty breathing. There are both invasive and non-invasive ventilators available. While noninvasive ventilators use an airtight external mask, invasive ventilators involve inserting internal tubes via tracheostomies or intubation.
Medical ventilators are normally used as a temporary measure to assist with breathing for a limited time, such as when a patient is undergoing surgery. Anesthesia may slow patients' breathing, warranting the use of a ventilator throughout a surgical procedure. In some cases, patients with serious medical conditions that affect their breathing may require ventilation during the recovery process, usually while receiving treatment in a hospital's critical care unit (CCU) or intensive care unit (ICU).
Other conditions that may require the use of a ventilator include acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), pneumonia and other respiratory infections, lung diseases, brain injury, drug overdoses, or strokes.
Where Are Pressure Sensors Used on a Ventilator?
Pressure sensors are integral to medical ventilators. Depending on the type of system, medical industry pressure sensors are used in several places on a ventilator, including:
- Measurement of the pressure between the regulator and filter from the starting oxygen and air inputs
- Measurement of pressure when the patient inhales, along with the pressure of the gases leading to external humidifiers
- Measurement of pressure when patients exhale into medical ventilators
- Measurement of barometric pressure to offset changes in elevation
Depending on the role of a pressure sensor in a ventilator, several sensor solutions are available for different applications. These include filter monitoring, airflow control, O2 flow control, O2 source pressure, CO2 level, and humidifier solutions.
Pressure Sensors from Servoflo
Based on what our customers require for their medical ventilators, Servoflo offers multiple pressure sensor solutions. Our pressure sensors meet various measurement requirements across multiple performance and price points. We have compiled a detailed list of sensor suggestions for medical ventilators which can be found here.
Servoflo offers pressure sensors ranging from under 2-inch water column to as much as several thousand psi in a variety of packages and configurations. In addition to top-quality pressure sensor products that work with medical and other applications, we can provide individualized customer service to ensure our customers get the most from their products.
When you work with the professionals at Servoflo, you'll benefit from increased flexibility and other advantages. For example, we consider other critical parameters that may need consistent monitoring such as humidity, mass flow, and temperature. Regardless of what you require for your systems, we have the resources and expertise needed to provide the right solution.
For more information about our selection of pressure sensors for all medical applications, please visit our medical equipment page.