The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2009 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

HELIOX UTILIZATION BY TWO ICU VENTILATORS: A BENCH STUDY

Daria Donelly, Brian K. Walsh; Respiratory Care, Childrens Hospital Boston, Boston, MA

Introduction: Heliox (He-O2) is often utilized to lower the work of breathing in patients with upper and lower airway obstruction. Its sole purpose is to lower the total density of any gas mixture. In patients with severe airway obstruction it is used as the driving gas of ventilators for non-invasive and invasive ventilation, but quickly becomes very labor intensive and expensive to maintain. In addition, helium is limited in supply. Newer generating ventilators have improved their blending capabilities to reduce waste. Traditionally we have used the Avea (Cardinal Health) to deliver our non-invasive and invasive heliox therapy. Recently we have acquired the Servo-i (Maquet) with heliox capabilities and decided to conduct a comparison bench study to guide our ventilator choice. Method: We bench tested and compared heliox consumption in two ventilators; the Viasys Avea and Maquet Servo-i. A 70/30 mixture was evaluated for tank duration over 1 hour. Both ventilators were set for Volume Control with a Vt 120 mL, frequency 15 bpm, (VE 1.8 L/M) and PEEP 5 cmH2O. Results: See Figure 1 Conclusion: The Maquet Servo-i utilizes less helium in comparison with the Avea. In our bench model the Servo-i saves an average of 893 liters of helium per hour or $203 per day. This equates to four tanks a day for the Avea and 5/8th of a tank for the Servo-i. If less heliox is consumed there will be less of a need to store and transport multiple tanks leading to labor cost reduction associated with the therapy. In addition, proper utilization of helium may add to the flexibility of the clinician. Sponsored Research - None

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