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Performances of ventilator at simulated altitude


We have assessed the ability of three ventilators to deliver to a normal lung model a set tidal volume (Vt) at different simulated cabin altitudes. We studied the performance of the LTV-1200 (Viasys Healthcare, USA), the Elisée 350 (Resmed, Australia) and the Medumat transport (Weinmann, Germany).


We used a decompression chamber to mimic the hypobaric environment at a range of simulated cabin altitudes of 2,438 and 3,657 m (8,000 and 12,000 feet). Ventilators were tested with a set fraction of inspired oxygen of 50% and Vt set at 450. Respiratory rate was 12 breaths/minute. Comparisons of preset to actual measured values were accomplished using a t test for each altitude. The protocol included 36 measurements for each Vt set at each simulated altitude. A significant difference was defined by P < 0.05.


Figure 1 summarizes the data. Comparisons of actual delivered Vt in altitude and set Vt demonstrated a significant difference for the three ventilators.


Figure 1


The LTV-1200 showed a very significant increase in Vt delivered with increasing altitude (suggesting a lack of efficacy of altimetric correction in hypobaric conditions), whereas the Elisée 350 and Medumat transport delivered respectively a stable and a rather stable Vt.

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Correspondence to E Forsans.

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Forsans, E., Franck, L., Leclerc, T. et al. Performances of ventilator at simulated altitude. Crit Care 16, P476 (2012).

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  • Oxygen
  • Public Health
  • Respiratory Rate
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Tidal Volume