You did it! Reaching the end of Chapter 2, you should now understand the key differences between spontaneous breathing and mechanical ventilation. You also now have a strong foundation in understanding oxygenation and how best to approach hypoxia in a patient. Keep these concepts in mind as we build on them in the next chapters.

Three students in scrubs practice intubating a volunteer.
Three nursing students practice intubation. These students understand that mechanical ventilation and other respiratory treatments are critically important in health care and save countless lives.


Please review the following key points from this chapter:

  • Mechanical ventilation is a push of air into the lungs with passive exhalation of the lungs once the breath is done being delivered.
  • Oxygen content in the blood is the sum of the amount of oxygen bound to hemoglobin and the amount of dissolved oxygen in the blood. The amount of hemoglobin and percent saturated has a larger affect on oxygenation then the dissolved component.
  • SpO2 can be used to approximate the overall oxygen status of your patient
  • There are two settings that are always set on a ventilator: FiO2 and PEEP.
  • FiO2 and PEEP both have an impact on oxygenation and can be adjusted to “share the work” of improving oxygenation.

Media Attributions


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Basic Principles of Mechanical Ventilation Copyright © 2022 by Sault College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book