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http://www.nucleusinc.com/medical-animation You may receive endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation if you are in an emergency situation involving severe respiratory problems or if you are having general anesthesia during a surgical procedure. If you have severe respiratory problems, the oxygen levels in your blood may drop too low, or the carbon dioxide levels may rise too high. Either of these conditions can result in damage to your vital organs, including your heart and brain. Under these circumstances, you may need additional oxygen or breathing support through mechanical ventilation.