Steps to Waveform Interpretation
- Initiation: Determine if the breath is initiated by the patient, the ventilator, or something else (i.e. cardiac oscillations)
- Constant: During inspiration ignore the waveform that should be relatively constant and pay close attention to the one that can change
- Volume control = flow is constant, pressure changes
- Pressure control = pressure is constant, flow changes
- Exhalation: Observe the expiratory flow for patient activity
- Define: Is there dyssynchrony between the patient and ventilator, or simply bad lung mechanics
Don’t forget to look at your patient!