Spontaneous Modes: A Review

Now that you have learned all about control modes, it’s time to shift to the other branch of the ventilation “family tree”: spontaneous mode:

The ventilation family tree with spontaneous branch indicated.

The importance of spontaneous modes should be clear to you after a brief overview of what we have learned so far about mechanical ventilation, including the following key concepts:

  • Positive pressure applied to the lungs is damaging (Chapter 1)
  • Mimicking physiologic breathing is much better for the body (Chapter 1)
  • Asynchrony can happen in control modes because the ventilator is delivering breaths based on what is set and not the patient (Chapter 3)

In this chapter, we will discuss these points in detail, as well as highlight additional benefits of spontaneous modes.

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