Pediatric respiratory therapy management has become increasingly complex. Mechanical ventilation has become a mainstay in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. Thorough knowledge of the modes of ventilatory support and criteria for weaning are essential for the critical care nurse to anticipate patient needs. Ventilatory support is initiated when a patient exhibits respiratory failure. For whatever reason, the respiratory system cannot meet the metabolic demands for oxygenation and carbon dioxide (CO2) elimination. Indications for mechanical ventilation in children include marked hypoxia, hypercapnea, peripheral airway obstruction, chest wall deformities, and central nervous system abnormalities. Nurses caring for these children must possess adequate knowledge of the underlying disease process as well as normal respiratory physiology and technical features of ventilators. Nursing strategies can then be directed toward weaning children from the mechanical ventilatory support

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