Mechanical Ventilation for COVID-19

1 week total 2 - 5 hours each week

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About this course

This course will help prepare licensed non-ICU hospital clinicians to assist in the operation of a ventilator. Given the increasing number of patients contracting COVID-19 and developing pneumonia, the medical system is, and will continue to be, in dire need of licensed medical professionals who can assist in the operation of mechanical ventilators.

This course provides general information about mechanical ventilation. It is intended for licensed medical professionals. Patient needs and clinical care settings vary, and the information provided is not intended as medical, diagnostic or treatment advice. Ventilators should be used under the supervision of a qualified licensed medical professional. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the particular device you are using and the product information sheet for any drug administered. This subject is complex and evolving. The authors and providers of this course do not warrant that the information provided is accurate in every respect or complete, and disclaim responsibility for your use and application of the information.


What you’ll learn

  • Principles and physiology of mechanical ventilation
  • Initial ventilator setting and adjustments
  • Troubleshooting the ventilator
    Ventilating patients in special circumstances including Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Obstructive Lung Disease
  • How to perform waveform analysis while monitoring the patient
  • How to evaluate a patient for extubation readiness and conduct the extubation procedure
  • How standard ventilation practices are different in COVID-19 patients

Meet Your Instructors

Dr. Susan Wilcox

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Chief of the Division of Critical Care in the Department of Emergency Medicine and Staff Intensivist in the Heart Center ICU, Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard University Susan Wilcox attended medical school at Washington University School of Medicine and trained in Emergency Medicine in the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency, graduating in 2008. After residency, she completed an Anesthesia Critical Care fellowship at MGH. From 2009 to 2015, she has divided her time between the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Units, including the Surgical ICU at MGH and the multidisciplinary ICU at North Shore Medical Center. In 2015, she moved to the Medical University of South Carolina, where she attended in the Medical ICU, the ED, and served as the medical director for the inpatient code team and the ground critical care transport team. In July 2017, she rejoined the faculty of MGH, attending in the Emergency Department and the Heart Center ICU. Her research interests are mechanical ventilation outside the ICU and the emergency care of patients with pulmonary hypertension. She is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Thomas Piraino

RRT, FCSRT, FAARC at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto Thomas Piraino is the Clinical Specialist – Mechanical Ventilation for the Centre of Excellence in Mechanical Ventilation at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto Ontario, and a Lecturer (Adjunct) for the Department of Anesthesia, Division of Critical Care at McMaster University. He has spoken internationally at various respiratory and critical care conferences, he is a published researcher and author on the subjects of invasive and noninvasive mechanical ventilation, and monitoring in the critical care environment. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Respiratory Care Journal, and the Canadian Journal of Respiratory Therapy.


1 week

Experience Level


Learning Partner



Health & Safety