The rhythmic squeeze of the anesthesia bag in the surgical amphitheater has been in large part replaced by automatic ventilators. In addition, the technology advanced during the past 70 years to provide automatic ventilation is applicable to many clinical situations of acute respiratory failure. Today, the use of automatic ventilators is the backbone for management of patients with a variety of pulmonary insults, including trauma, postoperative problems, neurological emergencies, poisonings, and acute and chronic respiratory diseases. In many ways this text is a tribute to industry, which has provided many excellent mechanical ventilators with various capabilities. In other ways the text is an indictment directed against our lack of knowledge of "ideal ventilation" and the "machine-patient interface," because we have at hand machines with very different work capabilities and we possess little knowledge about the best manner to provide ventilation wave form in difficult clinical situations.
The first five chapters,