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What are the Different Types of Respiratory Aid?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Feb 27, 2024
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There are several different types of respiratory aid, and each is used for a specific purpose. Primarily, respiratory aid consists of medications and devices that help assist a patient in breathing. Those with asthma, chronic respiratory failure, cystic fibrosis, or another serious respiratory illness or injury are most likely to need assistance with breathing. In some cases, respiratory aid may be used in those who have pneumonia or a severe flu with a cough.

One of the most common types of respiratory aid is the nebulizer. Most consumers are familiar with the compact inhaler, which is ultimately a mini version of a nebulizer machine. Nebulizers are machines or devices that turn a liquid medication into fine mist that is more readily accepted by the thin tissues of the lungs. Asthma sufferers are the most common users of nebulizers, although in some cases patients with other illnesses may benefit from them as well.

Another type of respiratory aid is the use of oxygen with either a facial mask or tubing that is inserted into the patient’s nose. This is commonly used for a variety of ailments, as well as those who are suffering from a non-respiratory related issue but who is temporarily out of breath. For example, women giving birth may be provided an oxygen mask to help with breathing. In some patients, oxygen may be used long-term and can be carried in tanks to make use more convenient.

The mechanical respirator is a type of respiratory aid that is used in extreme cases, including severe illness in which the patient can no longer sufficiently breathe on his own or in injuries where the lungs are too severely damaged to carry out respiration. Respirators are machines which are attached to patients using tubing which goes into the lungs. They provide artificial breathing by gently sending oxygen into the lungs and then pulling carbon dioxide back out.

In most case,s respirators are only used on a temporary basis, although some severely injured or ill patients may need to remain connected for much longer periods of time. After the trauma to the lungs is passed, the patient can generally be weaned from artificial respiration. This must be done slowly to allow him or her to regain the capacity to breathe without assistance. In some cases, more than one attempt is needed.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is another type of respiratory aid which is used primarily in emergency situations in which the patient is not breathing and may have little or no pulse. Cardio, or “heart” refers to the chest compressions generally performed during CPR to get the heart rate back to a healthier level. Pulmonary, or “lungs” refers to the action of breathing into the patient’s mouth in order to provide stimulation and air to the lungs. This procedure should only be performed by certified individuals or those who are under the guidance of emergency professionals.

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Discussion Comments
By Telsyst — On Feb 06, 2014

Influenza, commonly called 'flu' is a viral infection spread through mammals and birds. Common symptoms are fever, chills, runny nose, soar throat and many other symptoms generally associated with the common cold. Influenza often confused with the common cold is a far more serious disease.

Influenza is transmitted through the air (airborne) through coughs or sneezes and can stay active on a surface for a period of time.

Sunlight, detergents and soaps can deactivate the virus so frequent hand washing is a good deterrent.

Influenza can lead to pneumonia in persons even with good health.

There are people who are in fear of the 'Flu Vaccine' but it is one of the best ways to avoid a very nasty sickness.

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