There are many justified reasons for disconnecting a patient from a ventilator circuit, however, each time a disconnection occurs, patient and staff safety can be at risk.
When a patient is disconnected from and reconnected to a circuit, their positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) is not maintained, putting the patient at risk of Ventilator Induced Lung Injury due to the collapse and re-expansion of the lungs. Circuit disconnects can ruin the progress of healing a patient’s lungs.
In addition, a disconnection may expose staff to aerosolized viruses, bacteria and pharmaceuticals. Keeping the circuit closed enhances infection control.