Present generation mechanical ventilators are available with advanced microprocessor-based technology. Greater emphasis is being placed on the patient controlling the ventilator, rather than the physician controlling it. Pressure support ventilation (PSV) is a form of patient-triggered ventilation that supports spontaneous breathing during mechanical ventilation. It is flow-cycled, allowing the patient to determine the inspiratory time and rate. Each spontaneous breath is terminated when inspiratory flow decelerates to a predefined percentage of peak flow. At present, strict comparisons of the usefulness of PSV with other modalities of synchronized ventilation in newborns remain limited. This article reviews the principles and clinical applications of PSV for newborns who have respiratory failure.