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 Pressure Support Ventilation?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board 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 The Health Board, 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.

Pressure support ventilation (PSV) is a form of mechanical ventilation for patients that works with them when they try to breathe, instead of totally controlling the airway. It can be used with patients capable of breathing independently who are not getting quite enough air. This can be especially useful for ventilator weaning, where the eventual goal is to take the patient off the ventilator altogether. Pediatric and adult patients can be provided with pressure support ventilation, and it can also be used in operating rooms with some kinds of anesthesia.

Patients still need to wear ventilation equipment when they use pressure support ventilation. When they start to breathe in, this triggers the ventilator to increase the positive pressure in the airway, which forces air into the patient’s lungs. The patient wouldn’t be able to get enough air independently, and the ventilator ensures that sufficient gas exchange occurs. Fresh oxygen enters the blood through the lungs while the lungs exchange carbon dioxide for release. As the patient exhales, the ventilator pressure drops to allow for complete exhalation.

This patient-triggered approach provides respiratory support, rather than total respiratory control. A technician can set the machine to the specifications suitable for the patient, considering the desired amount of airflow. As the patient’s lungs improve, the level of assistance provided by the ventilator can drop, until the patient can breathe entirely independently. Such patients may need to remain on oxygen in some cases, but do not need assistance with maintaining ventilation pressure.

One benefit to this technique is that less sedation is required. Patients in intensive care sometimes need to be heavily sedated for their comfort, which is not necessarily beneficial for their long term health, and can be unsettling for family members. Pressure support ventilation creates less discomfort and distress, and can allow care providers to back down on sedation, which may promote faster healing. Patients also don’t need to stay on the ventilator as long, which reduces the risk of pneumonia and other complications.

Care providers may recommend pressure support ventilation to allow a patient to breathe as independently as possible while reducing the workload and strain on the lungs. The settings need to be carefully customized to the individual patient and can require adjustment over time. Patients who experience discomfort should alert care providers. Since a ventilator can inhibit verbal communication, they may need to touch care providers and point at the ventilator, or use paper and pen to communicate about the issue.

The Health Board 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.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

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

The Health Board, in your inbox

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