IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

What Is the Difference Between a Ventilator and a Respirator?

People keep using the terms interchangeably, which is wrong.

There is a difference between a ventilator and a respirator. Even people who should know the difference are using the terms incorrectly and interchangeably. Generally they talk about respirators as something used on patients, which is not the case.

A respirator is used to protect a person who is working in an area with chemicals or perhaps germs. A ventilator is for patients to providing breathing assistance to patients for whom providing oxygen is not enough. The scary thought here is that one person could need to be on a ventilator for weeks.

A shortage of ventilators is expected in the coming days as more people are admitted to hospitals needing breathing assistance in intensive care units. Tough decisions will need to be made about who lives and who dies. 

 

Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.
Special Projects
Sponsored Articles
  • Sponsored
    Election cybersecurity is one of the hottest topics in the country today. It dominated both the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, and most likely will continue to do so until state and local governments can demonstrate that their voting infrastructure and solutions are as secure and tamper-proof as possible.
  • Sponsored
    Data privacy and security are growing concerns for government organizations as well as the constituents they serve. In addressing those concerns, public agencies may be able to learn from steps taken by companies in the private sector, says Bryan Shea, vice president of data security and privacy at Hayden AI, which provides autonomous traffic management technologies to governments.
  • Sponsored
    Digital payments in the U.S. have increased significantly, reaching a penetration of 78 percent in 2020, according to McKinsey’s annual Digital Payments Consumer Survey.
  • Sponsored
    IT leaders in public sector agencies and higher education crave a simpler way to manage their high-availability databases. One path to simplicity is the hyperconverged database platform.