The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

EVALUATION OF FIVE CHEMICAL OXYGEN GENERATORS.

Thomas Blakeman1, Dario Rodriquez2, Richard Branson1; 1Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH; 2Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills (CSTARS), United States Air Force, Cincinnati, OH

Background: Oxygen delivery at the point of injury may be lifesaving but presents a number of logistic issues. High pressure cylinders represent an explosion and projectile risk. Liquid systems consume oxygen even when not in use and have the risk of spills and burns. Chemical oxygen generation is used in commercial air flight and can be used in an austere environment. The main risk of chemical oxygen generation is high temperatures created during the exothermic reaction. We evaluated five chemical oxygen generators designed for emergency care in austere environments. Methods: Devices were operated to the exact instructions provided by the manufacturers. Oxygen flow was measured using a respiratory monitor (IMT, Switzerland) incorporating an infrared oxygen analyzer and a screen pneumotachograph until oxygen generation ceased. Output of the analyzers was sent to a software program (FlowLab, IMT, Switzerland) for storage and later analysis. External temperature of devices was measured using a thermal imaging camera to evaluate the changes in external temperature, recording a thermograph every minute of operation. A minimum of three of each device were tested. Data was stored on a PC for later analysis. Results: This study demonstrated significant differences in the flow output and duration of oxygen generation between the devices. The emOx canister and the emOx Budi Bag produced little oxygen (mean 1.2 lpm ± 1.2 and 1.3 lpm ± 0.9 respectively). The canister produced a higher peak flow (9.9 lpm vs 5.3 lpm) but had a shorter duration than the Budi Bag (17 vs 21 min). The PPP device had a consistent 6 lpm ± 2.8 flow rate, but also had the highest external temperature of any of the devices (188°C at the metal tip), and could easily cause burns if placed too close to a casualty. The LifeFlo device produced up to 2 lpm of oxygen but had the lowest mean flow (0.8 lpm ± 0.5) and the longest duration (70 min ± 2.8). The ROG had the highest mean flow rate (11.6 ± 3.9 lpm) but had the shortest duration (9 min ± 1.0). The range of duration of oxygen flow among the devices was 9 – 70 minutes. The figure below shows representative flow measurements for a single run with each device. Conclusions: The oxygen flow and duration of oxygen generation was significantly different between devices. The external temperature of the devices can represent a burn hazard. Operators should know the performance characteristics and limitations of these devices. Sponsored Research - None