The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Charline Don, Garner G. Faulkner II, John Newhart, Richard M. Ford; Respiratory Care, UC San Diego Health System, San Diego, CA

BACKGROUND: The SonarMed Airwave (SonarMed Inc, Indianapolis IN) is a relatively new technology designed to provide direct, real time monitoring of obstructions within the endotracheal tube (ETT) using acoustic reflectometry. The identification of a partially obstructed ETT before complete obstruction is vital to ensure one does not face the risks associated with a loss of a patent artificial airway. In this study we wanted to test the accuracy of the device to detect the percent of obstruction for both single and dual fixed obstructions that did not change in size but did so in regards to their position within the ETT. METHOD: We performed a bench study using a #8 ETT. For our fixed obstructions we utilized two identical round discs of ABS plastic with a 1/8-inch hole in the center. The discs were slightly larger than the inner diameter of the ETT to facilitate secured placement. A single disc was placed within the ETT at positions 27cm, then at 18cm, and finally at the measured 11cm mark. Next, two identical discs were simultaneously placed within the ETT at different locations. Obstructions were placed first at the 18cm and 11cm marks and then at 27cm and 18cm and finally at the 27cm and 11cm. The Airwave device was attached to the ETT and digital data was captured and recorded for each disc position. RESULTS: When a single obstruction was placed, the Airwave monitor read the obstruction percent to only differ by 2% no matter where the single obstruction was located (See data table below). When identical dual obstructions were placed within the ETT at the same time, the obstruction percent differed by +/- 3 to 15% of what the original single obstruction read (See data table below). CONCLUSION: The SonarMed Airwave monitoring device showed a consistency within the manufacturers specification of +/- 15% obstruction accuracy even when dual obstructions were present within the ETT. The ability to directly identify and measure obstructions within the ETT could be extremely beneficial in aiding to improve patient safety in the ICU setting. Sponsored Research - None Single and Dual Obstruction Data During Airwave Bench Study