How Do Ventilators Actually Work?

We asked a doctor at UCLA to break it down for us.

Amid talk of ventilator shortages, our Wake-Up Call newsletter (subscribe here) is examining how these live-saving machines actually work. Dr. Nina Shapiro, a pediatric airway surgeon at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, explains how health care professionals manage the subtleties of ventilators — and keep patients alive.

During the challenging days of Covid-19, we’ve all been hearing so much about the need for ventilators. As a Californian, I was thrilled to hear that Governor Gavin Newsom decided to send off 500 of these precious machines to states in need. I’m a pediatric airway surgeon. In my field, ventilators are near and dear to our hearts; they are part of our daily work. Until these past weeks, I had never even considered the notion of a ventilator shortage. The concept is frightening, and the reality is terrifying. Yet here we are…



to Dr. Nina Shapiro's latest news
First Name
Last Name
Email address
Secure and Spam free...