Conventional Mechanical Ventilation (CMV)


Conventional mechanical ventilation (CMV) provides breathing support for infants and children who are too ill or immature to breathe on their own.

At Children's Health℠, we follow a patient-centered model of treatment. By putting the patient first, we bring together all the hospital's resources to meet a child's needs. Critical care physicians work with nurses, respiratory care therapists and others to ensure the best and most innovative treatment is available for each child at a moment's notice.

Patients served by CMV

Premature infants with certain lung complications often need conventional mechanical ventilation to survive. Other patients who may benefit from CMV include children with the following conditions:

  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory distress syndrome
  • Lower airway obstructions such as asthma
  • Upper airway obstructions from diseases including croup and epiglottitis
  • Neuromuscular weakness from diseases including Guillain-Barré syndrome and botulism
  • Traumatic brain injury

Conventional mechanical ventilation

CMV relies on a bedside machine called a mechanical ventilator. The ventilator supplies oxygen and removes carbon dioxide through a breathing tube placed in the child's windpipe. Physicians and other caregivers can adjust the machine as needed, depending on the child's condition.

Mechanical ventilators mimic normal breathing by pushing a measured amount of gas into a child's lungs at a certain rate. New ventilators can "sense" when a patient is about to take a breath and adjust to the child's natural breathing patterns. In this way, CMV supports, rather than replaces, the patient's breathing.

To provide support for patients with acute life-threatening conditions, Children's has 83 intensive care beds. Children's Pediatric ICU also conducts leading-edge research and brings new therapies to patients — often years before they are available at other institutions. Our critical care physicians deliver a full range of intensive care services for infants and children.

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