Comparison of methods of bag and mask ventilation for neonatal resuscitation

Resuscitation. 2001 Jun;49(3):299-305. doi: 10.1016/s0300-9572(01)00311-2.


Background: There are a variety of manual bagging devices used for neonatal resuscitation. To our knowledge, there has been no comparison of the ability of different operators to utilize such devices for the delivery of predetermined inspiratory and end-expiratory pressures. In addition, the use of prolonged inflation may be of benefit for infants who require bag and mask ventilation, and there has been no evaluation of the ability of a variety of operators to reliably deliver such breaths using currently available equipment.

Methods: We utilized a neonatal manikin (Laerdal Armonk, NY) with a functional larynx and lungs, and a clear cushioned mask (Owens-BriGam, Morganton, NC). We studied a latex-free disposable anesthesia type bag (Model 5126 Vital Signs, Totawa, NJ), a Jackson-Rees (JR) type anesthesia bag (Model E191 Anesthesia Associates, San Marcos, CA) fitted with a Norman elbow and a flow-control tail-piece (Dupaco, Oceanside, CA), and the Neopuff (Fisher and Paykel, Auckland, New Zealand), an FDA approved mechanical device that is flow-controlled and pressure-limited, specifically designed to facilitate neonatal resuscitation. The ventilating pressures were continuously recorded throughout the process. We evaluated neonatal nurses, neonatal nurse practitioners, neonatal staff and fellows, pediatric residents and neonatal respiratory therapists.

Results: The peak inspiratory pressure (PIP) was significantly different between operators using either anesthesia bag, P<0.001. Similar results were found for positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) with a significant difference among the operator groups, P<0.001. All the differences in post hoc analysis were between the therapists and the other groups, P<0.05. Therapists produced significantly higher pressures than the other groups for both PIP and PEEP (P<0.001). The PIP was similar for all groups using the Neopuff device. The PIP and PEEP delivered by the Neopuff differed from the other two devices independent of the operators (P<0.05). On post hoc analysis, there was a significant difference between the disposable anesthesia bag and Neopuff for both PIP and PEEP for the therapists, whereas among the non-therapists, there was a difference in PIP with the JR device producing a greater PIP (26.6+/-3.8 cmH(2)O) compared with the Neopuff and disposable anesthesia bag (24.8+/-1.1 cmH(2)O, 24.8+/-4.3 cmH(2)O). The level of PEEP was significantly different among all three devices for the non-therapists (1.3+/-1.6 cmH(2)O, Disposable; 2.9+/-1.2 cmH(2)O, JR; 4.7+/-0.5 cmH(2)O, Neopuff; P<0.05). Only the therapists were able to consistently deliver PEEP with the anesthesia bags, whereas all operators could generate the target PEEP with the Neopuff (P<0.05). We compared the pressure delivered during the first second to the pressure delivered during the fifth second during prolonged 5-s inflations. The absolute differences between the first and fifth second for the Neopuff versus the anesthesia bags were significantly different with a median of 7.1 cmH(2)O for the anesthesia bags compared with 0.2 cmH(2)O for the Neopuff, P<0.001, reflecting the difficulty in obtaining and maintaining the target inflation pressures.

Conclusions: Our experience suggests that the Neopuff, a purpose-built neonatal resuscitator ventilator, facilitates the delivery of the desired airway pressures while maximizing the operators ability to obtain and maintain a patent airway, and facilitates the delivery of prolonged inflations. Further research is required to determine the clinical benefit of end-expiratory pressure and prolonged inflations in neonatal resuscitation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anesthesia / methods
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design / instrumentation
  • Equipment Safety
  • Health Occupations
  • Humans
  • Infant Welfare
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Laryngeal Masks / statistics & numerical data*
  • Respiration, Artificial / instrumentation*
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology