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What is the Difference between a Ventilator and a Respirator?

The new normal is a phrase that has cropped up numerous times this year and in the current COVID 19 climate, it’s no surprise to anyone. The new normal is a phrase that describes a world with a new set of commonalities. Masks is the best example of this, but so are things like ventilators and respirators. These words are being used several times a day in teh news and in some sectors, every language. If you’re not familiar with what a ventilator or a respirator are, read on below. In this article we will discuss the two and describe their similarities and their differences.

What is a Respirator?

Let’s start with describing what a respirator is. A respirator is a device that looks like a mask, but is used as PPE. PPE stands for Personal Protective Equipment. Other types of PPE health professionals wear to protect them from such hazards as COVD-19 include goggles, gloves, and gowns. The respirator mask can be made of gauze and is worn over the mouth, or nose and mouth, to prevent the inhalation of noxious substances or the like. Health professionals wear respirators to filter out virus particles as they breathe in so they don’t get infected with COVID-19 while helping people and patients. Some types of respirators include the N95 respirator mask. This type of mask is the kind that is recommended by the Center for Disease Control for health professionals working in the medical sector. It fits more snugly around the mouth and nose than other surgical or medical masks. There is also another type of respirator known as PAPR, which is short for powered air-purifying respirators. The PAPR both shields the head and uses a blower to filter out air.

What is a Ventilator ?

Meanwhile, a ventilator is not a mask. Instead it is a machine that can help people breathe. These machines are useful for people who are sick and have symptoms that make it harder for them to breathe on their own. As COVD-19 is a respiratory disease, a common symptom that people might face is coughing and difficulty breathing. With a ventilator machine, it can pump oxygen into the lungs and remove carbon dioxide through a tube. The insertion of this tube into the trachea (a person’s windpipe) is called intubation. The verb ventilate can refer to oxygenating the blood (i.e., supplying it with oxygen) or helping someone breathing using a mechanical ventilator.

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