Here is a picture of a ventilator we use. It works your lungs to get oxygen in and waste gases out.
Most of our patients require sedation to allow this. The ventilator can be attached to either a tube that passes through the mouth to reach the wind pipe or to a tracheostomy tube. Patients are offered a tracheostomy as it is more comfortable and requires less or no sedation to tolerate it. It is then easier to wean the patient from the help the ventilator is offering. The machine is constantly monitored, as is the effect it is having on the lungs. The ventilator is adjusted by both the nurse and the doctors caring for the patient.
You might know it as a life support machine.