A strategy to optimise the performance of the mouth-to-bag resuscitator using small tidal volumes: effects on lung and gastric ventilation in a bench model of an unprotected airway

Angelika Zecha-Stallinger, Volker Wenzel, Horst G Wagner-Berger, Achim von Goedecke, Karl H Lindner, Christoph Hörmann
Resuscitation 2004, 61 (1): 69-74
When ventilating an unintubated patient with a standard adult self-inflating bag, high peak inspiratory flow rates may result in high peak airway pressures with subsequent stomach inflation. In a previous study we have tested a newly developed mouth-to-bag-resuscitator (max. volume, 1500 ml) that limits peak inspiratory flow, but the possible advantages were masked by excessive tidal volumes. The mouth-to-bag-resuscitator requires blowing up a balloon inside the self-inflating bag that subsequently displaces air, which then flows into the patient's airway. Due to this mechanism, gas flow and peak airway pressures are reduced during inspiration when compared with a standard bag-valve-mask-device. In addition, the device allows the rescuer to use two hands instead of one to seal the mask on the patient's face. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effects of the mouth-to-bag-resuscitator, which was modified to produce a maximum tidal volume of 500 ml, compared with a paediatric self-inflating bag (max. volume, 380 ml), and a standard adult self-inflating bag (max. volume, 1500 ml) in an established bench model simulating an unintubated patient with respiratory arrest. The bench model consisted of a face mask, manikin head, training lung (lung compliance, 100 ml/0.098 kPa (100ml/cm H2O); airway resistance, 0.39 kPa/(l s) (4 cm H2O/(l s)), and a valve simulating lower oesophageal sphincter pressure, 1.47 kPa (15 cm H2O). Twenty critical care nurses volunteered for the study and ventilated the manikin for 1 min with a respiratory rate of 20 min(-1) with each ventilation device in random order. The mouth-to-bag-resuscitator versus paediatric self-inflating bag resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) higher lung tidal volumes (302 +/- 41 ml versus 233 +/- 22 ml), and peak airway pressure (10 +/- 1 cm H2O versus 9 +/- 1 cm H2O), but comparable inspiratory time fraction (28 +/- 5% versus 27 +/- 5%, Ti/Ttot), peak inspiratory flow rate (0.6 +/- .01 l/s versus 0.6 +/- 0.2 l/s), and stomach inflation (149 +/- 495 ml/min versus 128 +/- 278 ml/min). In comparison with the adult self-inflating bag, there was significantly (P < 0.05) less gastric inflation (3943 +/- 4896 ml/min versus 149 +/- 495 ml/min versus 128 +/- 278 ml/min, respectively) with both devices, but the standard adult self-inflating bag had significantly higher lung tidal volumes (566 +/- 77 ml), peak airway pressure (13 +/- 1 cm H2O), and peak inspiratory flow rate (0.8 +/- 0.11 l/s). In conclusion, comparing the mouth-to-bag-resuscitator with small tidal volumes versus the paediatric self-inflating-bag during simulated ventilation of an unintubated patient in respiratory arrest resulted in comparable marginal stomach inflation, but significantly reduced the likelihood of gastric inflation compared to the adult self-inflating-bag. Lung tidal volumes were improved from approximately 250 ml with the paediatric self-inflating-bag to approximately 300 ml with the mouth-to-bag-resuscitator.

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