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Volume-targeted ventilation with a Fabian ventilator: maintenance of tidal volumes and blood CO2


Objective To analyse the performance of the Fabian +NCPAP evolution ventilator during volume guarantee (VG) ventilation in neonates at maintaining the target tidal volume and what tidal and minute volumes are required to maintain normocapnia.

Methods Clinical and ventilator data were collected and analysed from 83 infants receiving VG ventilation during interhospital transfer. Sedation was used in 26 cases. Ventilator data were downloaded with a sampling rate of 0.5 Hz. Data were analysed using the Python computer language and its data analysis packages.

Results ~107 hours of ventilator data were analysed, consisting of ~194 000 data points. The median absolute difference between the actual expiratory tidal volume (VTe) of the ventilator inflations and the target tidal volume (VTset) was 0.29 mL/kg (IQR: 0.11–0.79 mL/kg). Overall, VTe was within 1 mL/kg of VTset in 80% of inflations. VTe decreased progressively below the target when the endotracheal tube leak exceeded 50%. When leak was below 50%, VTe was below VTset by >1 mL/kg in less than 12% of inflations even in babies weighing less than 1000 g. Both VTe (r=−0.34, p=0.0022) and minute volume (r=−0.22, p=0.0567) showed a weak inverse correlation with capillary partial pressure of carbon dioxide (Pco2) values. Only 50% of normocapnic blood gases were associated with tidal volumes between 4 and 6 mL/kg.

Conclusions The Fabian ventilator delivers volume-targeted ventilation with high accuracy if endotracheal tube leakage is not excessive and the maximum allowed inflating pressure does not limit inflations. There is only weak inverse correlation between tidal or minute volumes and Pco2.

  • respiratory
  • technology
  • monitoring
  • intensive care
  • neonatology

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