If you have a problem breathing and require assistance from a machine to inhale or exhale fully, you may be “intubated.” Intubation means passing a plastic breathing tube down the windpipe (trachea) and supplying oxygen through a machine which pumps it directly into the lungs. Patients who are “intubated” are maintained on ventilators. Most patients are heavily sedated while intubated or even paralyzed with drugs so they will not experience the discomfort of having a tube in their windpipe.
Patients cannot talk while intubated. Patients who are intubated require intensive care.