Despite its enticing title, I know that you’re probably thinking about skipping this section and diving right into the second or third part of this book. That would be a mistake. I’m not saying this just because I’m the author and because my feelings are easily hurt. I’m saying it because I know that you want an in-depth understanding of mechanical ventilation, and that requires a working knowledge of certain essential aspects of pulmonary and cardiovascular physiology. Sure, you can learn a lot by reading later chapters in this book, but to really master the subject, you have to start at the beginning. You have to start with the first three chapters, which provide the foundation for all the chapters that follow.
I know that physiology is usually presented in a rather complex and dry format, and that’s a shame, because it keeps people from seeing how important it really is. I will do everything I can to make this material interesting, straightforward, and relevant. So let’s get started!