Key features in the choice of ventilator

• Ventilator must allow patient triggering (i.e. not a minute volume divider)

• Fresh gas flow must be greater than spontaneous peak inspiratory flow

• Minimum circuit resistance (short, wide bore, smooth internal lumen)

• Low resistance-ventilator valves

• Sensitive pressure or flow trigger (ideally monitored close to the endotracheal tube)

• Synchronised IMV (avoids 'stacking' mandatory on spontaneous breaths)

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