I've been in the ICU for almost a year now, and I recently came across a concept that I am not clear on.
When a ventilated patient's oxygen saturation starts dropping, or if a patient is experiencing respiratory arrest, an important part of our interventions is to immediately disconnect the ETT from the ventilator and connect an AMBU-bag to manually ventilate.
I understand that this is to have more control over the pressure and rate so that we can adequately perfuse the lungs. I am simply not sure how that is the best method, though. It seems to me that a mechanical ventilator would be able to have much more control over a pressure through PEEP/vT.
I guess what I'm asking is: how is AMBU still the best method vs. a mechanical breathing apparatus that can be 'tweaked' to any specification? I understand that before an RT arrives, it would not be appropriate for nurses to try and mess with the settings, so we simply bag. However, once the RT arrives, I believe that's their first move too.
I apologize in advance if I'm a little incorrect about some of this. I'm still trying to completely grasp all of the RT components to the ICU! Hopefully my question makes sense to someone.
If an RT sees this, perhaps if you could briefly compare the difference in pressures between AMBU and typical vent. modes that may clear it up.