The Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist (NAVA)

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The medical field is very fast-paced and new technological discoveries are constantly being made. When one thinks of new medical findings, cancer cures and surgery are common thoughts. However, a very interesting and slightly controversial discovery has been made in the neonatal world. The Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist (NAVA) is “a form of partial ventilator assistance in which the machine delivers assistance in proportion to the electrical activity of the diaphragm (EAdi), as assessed by means of transesophageal electromyography” (Gianmaria Cammarota et al., 2011). It is meant to lower inspiratory pressure and respiratory muscle load in preterm infants (Gianmaria Cammarota et al., 2011). In other words, it helps the patient- whether they be an infant or an adult- breathe when their lungs aren’t able to aid in that process. M. Ferrer and P. Pelosi, authors of “European Respiratory Monograph 55: New Developments in Mechanical Ventilation” say that the signal from the EAdi is used to regulate NAVA, which then causes the airways to receive pressure. “With NAVA, both timing and the magnitude ventilator delivered assistance are controlled by the EAdi” (M. Ferrer & P. Pelosi., 2012, p 116). My research proves that NAVA can work better than pressure support ventilation (PSV) and can be used not only for neonates, but patients in the ICU that are affected by lung-related injury or illness that causes them to have difficulty breathing on their own; though there are

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