We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Respiratory Support?

By Vanessa Harvey
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Respiratory support is a term that refers to the various medical procedures and equipment used by respiratory care providers and their patients to treat a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) such as asthma, emphysema and black lung. It also refers to the emergency respiratory care provided for patients who are in respiratory distress or arrest, which might or might not be related to COPD. A ventilator, continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP), a flow-restricted oxygen-powered ventilation device (FROPVD), a pocket face mask and a bag-valve mask are among the equipment used to provide respiratory support.

A ventilator breathes for the patient and is programmed to handle the timing and rate of the vital functions of inhalation, also called inspiration, and exhalation, also called expiration. These machines are used in hospitals as well as in private homes and other facilities. People with sleep apnea, which can sometimes manifest as behavioral problems in young children, often are prescribed a CPAP device, which provides continuous pressure to keep the patient's airway open.

Oxygen therapy is a very common form of respiratory support performed by a healthcare provider such as an emergency room nurse, respiratory specialist, physician's assistant or paramedic. The drug typically is delivered via a non-rebreather mask or nasal cannula to treat or help prevent hypoxia, a state of insufficient oxygen in the body's tissues. It is important to understand the difference between the terms "respiratory distress," "respiratory failure," and "respiratory arrest" to better understand the extreme importance placed on the subject of respiratory support. Respiratory distress simply is shortness of breath, but depending on the health of a person or whether he or she has suffered trauma or distress, distress can lead to failure. When a person's oxygen intake is not sufficient to support life, he or she is said to be in respiratory failure, which quickly leads to respiratory arrest, the complete cessation of breathing.

Cardiac arrest swiftly follows respiratory arrest, which is why emergency medicine places such a strong emphasis on respiratory support. Assisted ventilation, also known as positive pressure ventilation, is the rescue breathing performed by a device or by the rescuer for a person who is in respiratory failure or arrest. For example, the pocket face mask and the bag valve mask, the FROPVD and the automatic transport ventilator are among the devices that help to protect rescuers from disease by replacing the mouth-to-mouth rescue breathing that can be carried out alone or in conjunction with cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.