Key messages

• Volume-targeted modes guarantee flow, and consequently the volume provided to the circuit in the allowed inspiratory time (tidal volume), at the expense of variable airway pressures.

• If volume-cycled ventilation is used, the physician may select either tidal volume and flow delivery pattern or flow delivery pattern and minimum minute ventilation.

• As a general rule, the ventilator's average inspiratory flow should be approximately four times the minute ventilation. Peak flow should be set 20 to 30 per cent above this average value when a decelerating waveform is used.

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