Objective: To compare triggering, pressurization, and cycling of the home ventilator VPAP II with those of three ICU ventilators (Evita 4, Galileo, and Servo 300).
Design and setting: Two-compartment lung model study in a research laboratory, university hospital.
Methods: One compartment was driven by an ICU ventilator to mimic "patient" inspiratory effort, while the other was connected to the tested ventilator. Pressure support of 10, 15, 20, and 25 cmH2O, and inspiratory efforts of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 cmH2O (inspiratory time 1 s) were used in normal, obstructive, and restrictive conditions. Triggering delay (Td), triggering workload, pressurization at 300 and 500 ms, and difference between the "patient's" inspiratory time and that of the ventilator were analyzed.
Results: No difference was noted in triggering workload between VPAP II, Evita 4, and Galileo while Servo 300 had a lower value. Pressurization at 300 ms on Evita 4 and Servo 300 reached 75% of the ideal value, on Galileo 35%, and on VPAP II 45%. Pressurization at 500 ms on Evita 4 and Servo 300 reached 85% of the ideal value, on Galileo 50%, and on VPAP II 55%. Cycling was delayed in obstructive conditions and premature in restrictive conditions with each of the devices.
Conclusions: The VPAP II performed as well as one ICU ventilator and less well than two. Home devices for noninvasive ventilation in acute respiratory failure outside the ICU could prove attractive as they are smaller, less costly, and easier to use than ICU machines.