Simulated Ventilation of Two Patients With a Single Ventilator in a Pandemic Setting
Pascal Schepat, Benjamin Kober, Martin Eble, Volker Wenzel, Holger Herff
Background: Simultaneous ventilation of two patients, e.g., due to a shortage of ventilators in a pandemic, may result in hypoventilation in one patient and hyperinflation in the other patient. Methods: In a simulation of double patient ventilation using artificial lungs with equal compliances (70mL∙mbar-1), we tried to voluntarily direct gas flow to one patient by using 3D-printed y-adapters and stenosis adapters during volume-, and pressure-controlled ventilation. Subsequently, we modified
... model using a special one-way valve on the limited flow side and measured in pressure-controlled ventilation with the flow sensor adjusted on either side in a second and third setup. In the last setup, we also measured with different lung compliances.Results: Volume- or pressure-controlled ventilation using standard connection tubes with the same compliance in each lung resulted in comparable minute volumes in both lungs, even if one side was obstructed to 3mm (6.6±0.2vs.6.5±0.1L for volume-controlled ventilation, p=.25 continuous severe alarm and 7.4±0.1vs.6.1±0.1L for pressure-controlled ventilation, p=.02 no alarm). In the second setup, pressure-controlled ventilation resulted at a 3mm flow limitation in minute ventilation of 9.4±0.3vs3.5±0.1L∙min-1, p=.001. In a third setup using the special one-way valve and the flow sensor on the unobstructed side, pressure-controlled ventilation resulted at a 3mm flow limitation in minute ventilation of 7.4±0.2vs3±0L∙min-1, at the compliance of 70mL∙mbar-1 for both lungs, 7.2±0vs4.1±0L∙ min-1, at the compliances of 50 vs. 70mL∙mbar-1, and 7.2±0.2vs5.7±0L∙ min-1, at the compliance of 30 vs. 70mL∙mbar-1 (all p=.001).Conclusions: Overriding a modern intensive care ventilator's safety features are possible, thereby ventilating two lungs with one ventilator simultaneously in a laboratory simulation using 3D-printed y-adapters. Directing tidal volumes in different pulmonary conditions towards one lung using 3D-printed flow limiters with diameters <6mm was also possible. While this ventilation setting was technically feasible in a bench model, it would be volatile, if not dangerous in a clinical situation.