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Delivery of positive end-expiratory pressure to preterm lambs using common resuscitation devices


Background In neonatal resuscitation, a ventilation device providing positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) is recommended. There is limited information about PEEP delivery in vivo, using different models of self-inflating bag (SIB) at different inflation rates and PEEP settings.

Methods We compared PEEP delivery to intubated preterm lambs using four commonly available models of paired SIBs and PEEP valves, with a T-piece, with gas flow of 8 L/min. Peak inspiratory pressure inflations of 30 cmH2O, combined with set PEEP of 5, 7 and 10 cmH2O, were delivered at rates of 20, 40 and 60/min. These combinations were repeated without gas flow. We measured mean PEEP, maximum and minimum PEEP, and its difference (PEEP reduction).

Results A total of 3288 inflations were analysed. The mean PEEP delivered by all SIBs was lower than set PEEP (P<0.001), although some differences were <0.5 cmH2O. In 55% of combinations, the presence of gas flow resulted in increased PEEP delivery (range difference 0.3–2 cmH2O). The mean PEEP was closer to set PEEP with faster inflation rates and higher set PEEPs. The mean (SD) PEEP reduction was 3.9 (1.6), 8.2 (1.8), 2 (0.6) and 1.1 (0.6) cmH2O with the four SIBs, whereas it was 0.5 (0.2) cmH2O with the T-piece.

Conclusions PEEP delivery with SIBs depends on the set PEEP, inflation rate, device model and gas flow. At recommended inflation rates of 60/min, some devices can deliver PEEP close to the set level, although the reduction in PEEP makes some SIBs potentially less effective for lung recruitment than a T-piece.

  • PEEP delivery
  • self-inflating bag
  • low resource setting
  • T-piece
  • neonatal resuscitation

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