Choosing Portable Ventilators for Home Use

difficulty breathing portable ventilator

Take a deep breath. Chances are, you were able to do so without too much difficulty. You likely didn’t realize just how shallow your breathing had been until you allowed the room’s oxygen-rich air into your nose and mouth, passed the larynx and trachea and into your lungs. If you breathed in deep enough, you likely expelled the carbon dioxide out of your lungs with a “woosh,” as quickly as you took in the oxygen-rich air. Awake and clearer minded, you can go about your day, taking for granted the fact that breathing is a basic biological function that you just don’t have to think much about. However, when a person’s breathing is compromised, a portable ventilator can mean the difference between life and death.

Allied Healthcare AHP300 Transport Ventilator Yellow

The Allied Healthcare AHP300 Transport Ventilator Yellow

What is a portable ventilator used for?

In short, portable ventilators blow air, sometimes with extra oxygen, into the lungs of a person experiencing difficulty breathing. This is done by inserting a breathing tube into the windpipe (also known as the trachea) of the patient. This pipe allows air into the lungs, bypassing the vocal cords in the process. In a process known as intubation, the tube is first inserted into the trachea via the throat or nose, and a ventilator is hooked up that breathes for the patient. Intubation is especially useful for patients who are experiencing an illness or medical emergency, but who are expected to make a relatively fast recovery. Yet, some patients who cannot breathe effectively on their own will have a tube surgically placed in the front of their neck, directly into their windpipe. This procedure, known as a tracheostomy, is done under general anesthesia and is more comfortable for long-term use than endotracheal tubes that are placed in an emergency.

Ventilator use at home

In the not-so-distant past, it was believed that the only place a ventilator could be used was in the hospital. People who had a tracheostomy, who were otherwise medically stable, were required to remain in the hospital as long as they had the tracheostomy. Yet technological advances in portable ventilators have made them easier to use outside of the controlled setting of a hospital or medical center. With training and practice, anyone can learn how to operate a ventilator at home. This is especially important for people with spinal cord injuries, birth injuries or other medical conditions who want to reclaim their quality of life by living in familiar surroundings.

hard to breathe ventilator home use

If it’s hard to breathe, a portable ventilator can be life-saving

Home ventilator machine price

Prices of home ventilator machines vary based on the features included in the model. Those that include CPAP functionality are often more expensive than those that simply provide ventilation. Some models are designed for home, and EMS use with fully-automated, easy-to-use features. Prices for home ventilators range from $1,500 to upwards of $6,500. Refurbished models are available at significant cost savings. While many people are hesitant to purchase a refurbished portable ventilator, every model has been thoroughly inspected, tested and calibrated with all disposable parts replaced to maximize the life of the machine. For more information on which ventilator is right for you, visit Foremost Medical Equipment.