Bench studies evaluating devices for non-invasive ventilation: critical analysis and future perspectives
The performance of four bilevel positive pressure preset ventilators was compared. The ventilators tested were; BiPAP ST30 (Respironics); Nippy2 (B + D Electrical); Quantum PSV (Healthdyne); and Sullivan VPAP H ST (Resmed). A patient simulator was used to determine the sensitivity of the triggering mechanisms and the responses to a leak within the patient circuit, and to changes in patient effort. Significant differences (p <0.05) between the devices were seen in the trigger delay time and inspiratory trigger pressure. When a leak was introduced into the patient circuit, the fall in tidal volume (VT) was less than ten per cent for each ventilator. The addition of patient effort produced a number of changes in the ventilation delivered. Patient efforts of 0.25 s induced a variable fall in VT. An increase in VT was seen with some ventilators with patient efforts of 1 s but the effect was variable. Trigger failures and subsequent falls in minute volume were seen with the BiPAP and the Nippy2 at the highest respiratory frequency. Differences in the responses of the ventilators are demonstrated that may influence the selection of a ventilator, particularly in the treatment of breathless patients with ventilatory failure.