A ventilator is a machine that provides mechanical ventilation by moving breathable air into and out of the lungs, to deliver breaths to a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently.
A feeding tube is a medical device used to provide nutrition to people who cannot obtain nutrition by mouth, are unable to swallow safely, or need nutritional supplementation.
Dialysis is the process of removing excess water, solutes, and toxins from the blood in people whose kidneys can no longer perform these functions naturally.
EXTRACORPOREAL MEMBRANE OXYGENATION (ECMO)
A machine that pumps blood from the patient’s body to an artificial lung (oxygenator) that adds oxygen to it and removes carbon dioxide.
LEFT VENTRICULAR ASSIST DEVICE (LVAD)
A pump is surgically implanted in a person’s chest to help pump blood from the lower left side because the patient has reached end-stage heart disease.
CONTINUOUS RENAL REPLACEMENT THERAPY (CRRT)
A therapy that replaces the normal blood-filtering function of the kidneys and has to be continuous without stopping.
Understanding the ICU is a very difficult task. We hope these resources help you with knowing what questions to ask and decide if you want that care.