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Specific Health Issues: Ventilator Dependent -- SHNIC School Nurses Information

Underlying Condition and Possible Problems Arising from Student's Health Condition:

  • Degree of student's dependency on ventilator.
  • Student's ability to request assistance, pertaining to problems (i.e., mucous plug).
  • Type of ventilator.
  • Signs and symptoms of respiratory distress.
  • Baseline status (i.e., ventilator setting, lung sounds, rate, color, pulse, Sat. Level, etc.).
  • Need for skilled caregiver with student in classroom setting and transport.
  • Ventilator settings checked every one to two hours.
  • Power supply available as back up.
  • Resuscitation and emergency orders.
  • Latex allergy
  • Other equipment necessary.
  • Emergency protocols.
  • Training of caregivers, etc.

Important Issues (Checklist):

  • Make sure that you have a copy of the troubleshooting guide
  • Check power system (i.e., internal battery and external battery)
  • Accessible functioning outlets
  • Oxygen source connection to ventilator, as well as spare tubing and oxygen supply (i.e., spare tank and gauge)
  • Flow and percentage of oxygen
  • Humidification source
  • Volume
  • Rate
  • Student pressure manometer
  • Peak inspiratory pressure (PIP)
  • Positive and expiratory pressure (PEEP)
  • Ventilator mode
  • Inspiratory time
  • High pressure alarm
  • Low pressure alarm
  • Power source alarm
  • Patient pressure tubing
  • Patient port
  • Exhalation valve
  • Peep valve and additional adapters


  • Check power supply of battery everyday, make sure that, if possible, the ventilator can be plugged into wall when student is at school.
  • Check settings of ventilator against physician's orders to ensure proper settings are maintained.
  • Check to make sure that the access number for emergency repair is visible on the ventilator.
  • Check to make sure that there is a spare tank of oxygen and guage, as well as connecting tubings.
  • Check to make sure that the student has supply bag with them that contains an ambu bag with proper connecting tubes.

Back to SHNIC School Nurse Information Overview.

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