Mechanical ventilation or ventilatory support means the patient is on a machine that helps them breathe. A tube is put in through their nose or mouth into the trachea (windpipe). It is attached to a ventilator.

The ventilator is a machine that can give a breath to a patient who may have trouble breathing or is not able to breathe. The number of breaths and the amount of volume or pressure given at each breath are set by the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) team.