The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2011 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Brian Ruzich, Eric Hunter, Jonathon Hayes; Respiratory Care Education, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS

BACKGROUND: To save time and enhance safety, transport ventilators have given way to critical care ventilators for a large proportion of in-hospital transportation of patients requiring mechanical ventilation. Gas consumption of these ventilators varies widely, depending on the mode and individual settings. OBJECTIVE: We measured the gas use of critical care ventilators from department inventory during 6 conditions of common ventilator settings to determine how the modes and settings effect the time respiratory therapists have to transport without having to change tanks. We hypothesized that certain ventilator settings will significantly use more source gas than others. METHOD: One at a time, we connected 20 ventilators to oxygen and air E tanks. Each cylinder regulator had a digital display of tank pressure. We ran each ventilator until the pressure in each tank dropped exactly 100 psi. All FIO2s were 0.50 so air pressure dropped the quickest. For each of the 20 ventilators we had four different modes and six different ventilator settings. The 6 test conditions were 1) SIMV volume targeted pressure control (VTPC), 5 PEEP, 5 pressure support (PS); 2) SIMV-VTPC, 15 PEEP, 10 PS; 3) SIMV-VC, 15 PEEP, 10 PS; 4) SIMV-volume control (VC), 5 PEEP, 5 PS; 5) A/C-PC, 5 PEEP and 6) A/C-VC, 5 PEEP. We recorded the time in seconds for 100 psi drop in oxygen and air pressure for a total of 120 times. RESULTS: Seconds of air consumption required to drop the pressure 100 psi based on condition were: 1) 319, 6) 311, 2) 301, 4) 286, 3) 285 and 5) 231. Condition (5) A/C-PC mode with 5 PEEP consumed both air and O2 source gas faster than the other 3 modes or conditions (shortest time for 100 psi drop in pressure). CONCLUSION: Both brands of critical care ventilators used in this study consumed gas faster in A/C-PC mode. A/C-PC mode may not be the best choice for prolonged intrahospital transports.
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