The stability of arterial blood gases during transportation of patients using the RespirTech PRO

M Romano, O G Raabe, W Walby, T E Albertson
American Journal of Emergency Medicine 2000, 18 (3): 273-7
The transportation of critically ill patients requiring mechanical ventilation is recognized as a high-risk and expensive procedure. Approaches have included using manual bag-type valve resuscitators and expensive portable transport ventilators. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the inexpensive portable RespirTech PRO (RTP) gas-powered automatic resuscitator during intrahospital transport of critically ill mechanically ventilated patients. Twenty medical intensive care patients on stable mechanical ventilator settings had arterial blood gas and vital sign determination before routine transport out of the intensive care unit (ICU). Repeat measurements were made during transport approximately 30 minutes after being placed on the RTP portable pressure-cycled automatic resuscitator using an FiO2 of 100%. During use of the RTP for transport, there were no statistically significant variations observed in mean arterial blood pressure [82 +/- 11 SD (range 65 to 112) mm Hg before transport versus 85 +/- 14 SD (range 59 to 110) mm Hg during transport], heart rate [94 +/- 16 SD (range 74 to 127) beats/min) before versus 96 +/- 17 SD (range 69 to 132) beats/min during], arterial pH [7.41 +/- 0.07 SD (range 7.31 to 7.58) before versus 7.42 +/- 0.05 SD (range 7.37 to 7.52) during], and PaCO2 [43 +/- 10 SD (range 26 to 65) mm Hg before versus 43 +/- 10 SD (range 27 to 61 mm Hg) during]. Because the FiO2 before transport was 63 +/- 26 SD (range 30% to 100%) versus 100% during transport using the RTP, the mean PaO2 was significantly increased from 124 +/- 86 SD (range 57 to 367) mm Hg before transport to 297 +/- 168 SD (range 65 to 537) mm Hg during (P< .001). No transportation associated clinical adverse events were noted. Several previous investigations have shown that portable ventilators are safe and effective in intrahospital transport of mechanically ventilated patients. This study showed that the portable pressure-cycled RTP also allows safe transportation of mechanically ventilated ICU patients. By analogy, the RTP is potentially useful as an automatic resuscitator for emergency medical care. This RTP is a disposable resuscitator/ventilator device that provides an inexpensive alternative for transporting ventilator-dependent patients.

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