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Ventilator Alarms—Causes and Evaluation 

Ventilator Alarms—Causes and Evaluation
Ventilator Alarms—Causes and Evaluation

John W. Kreit

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date: 21 August 2019

When a patient is intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation, the clinician must write a series of ventilator orders. It’s important to recognize though, that several other parameters are typically set by the respiratory therapist without direct physician input. The most important are the critical values that will trigger a ventilator alarm. ICU ventilators constantly monitor many machine and patient-related variables, including airway pressure, flow rate, volume, and respiratory rate, and it seems like there’s an alarm for almost everything. While it’s true that some alarms are of little or no significance, others may indicate an important and potentially life-threatening problem. Ventilator Alarms—Causes and Evaluation describes important ventilator alarms and how each is set and triggered. It also reviews how to determine the cause of each ventilator alarm and how to correct the identified problems.

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