The Need to Standardize Training in Ventilation Management

The lack of standardized nomenclature for ventilator modes complicates clinical care and puts patients at risk. One popular textbook lists 298 mode names on 36 ventilators in the US alone. There is a great deal of confusion around these many names. Sometimes different ventilator manufacturers use different names for the same mode, but sometimes the same mode name can mean different things on different ventilators – and patients respond differently. Advanced ICU ventilators have features which can actually transform a mode into a different mode completely, without a change in the name to mark the transition.

Thus memorizing a list of mode names and parameters is not enough. Clinicians must understand the principles behind the names. Until now, there has been no standardized training program that would help clinicians understand and properly use all modes of ventilation.

Robert Chatburn et al. have created a “Taxonomy for Mechanical Ventilation: Ten Fundamental Maxims” as a tool to develop the ability to identify, classify, and compare all modes of ventilation. This system been adopted by two leading general respiratory care textbooks and has passed many peer reviews in medical journals.

IngMar Medical will soon be releasing Taxonomy for Mechanical Ventilation Curriculum Modules to teach these ten  maxims through hands-on skills practice with the ASL 5000 Breathing Simulator and a ventilator.  The hands-on skill practice not only helps connect knowledge and psychomotor skills, it also provides an experience closer to the situation the clinician will experience when they need to apply their skills. Learners can experiment with different ventilator settings without putting patients at risk.