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Resources: Glossary

The Glossary contains terms commonly associated with ventilators, the community, and respiratory physiology. Click on a hyperlinked letter to view the entries that begin with that letter, then scroll down in the window to find the word you are looking for.

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Safety Valve A high pressure relief valve.
SaO2 Oxygen Saturation of Arterial Blood - (See Oxygen Saturation.)
Saturated Water Vapor The maximum amount of water vapor that air can hold at a given combination of pressure and temperature.
Saturation Pressure The partial pressure of saturated water vapor for a given combination of total pressure and temperature.
SCCM Society of Critical Care Medicine
Self Test A set of pre-use tests performed by the ventilator on itself typically requiring no intervention by the operator.
Sensitivity, Flow Sensitivity, Pressure Sensitivity (See Trigger Flow, Trigger Pressure.)
Severinghaus Electrode Electrochemical device sensitive to PCO2 of carbon dioxide in solution.
Sigh A controlled, substantial increase in the tidal volumes of a small number of successive assisted breaths produced at preset intervals.
SIMV Synchronized Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation - A ventilator mode of operation in which assisted breaths are delivered at a set frequency with spontaneous breaths permitted in between delivered breaths. The assisted breaths are synchronized with spontaneous efforts when their timing is sufficiently close. If no efforts are detected during the set inter-assisted breath interval, a mandatory breath is delivered.
Sinusoidal Varying as a sine wave.
Spirometer A device that continuously measures, at the local temperature and pressure, the volume of gas flowing through, or into and out of, it.
Spontaneous Breathing Movement of gas into and out of the lungs produced by the patient's respiratory muscles.
Square Wave A wave shape that rises instantaneously to a constant value that is maintained for a set time interval, after which it instantaneously falls to a new value. The term "square" wave is a misnomer since, invariably, the wave shape produced is rectangular and not strictly square.
Straight Line A relation of the form Y = aX + b. When b = 0, this is a linear relation.
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