Background and objective: To evaluate the capability of first responders to achieve and maintain normal ventilation of the lungs of victims employing a bag-valve device and two oxygen-driven resuscitators.
Methods: Prospective, controlled, blinded, single-centre clinical trial using a bag-valve device and one of two FR-300 devices, with 20 cmH2O working pressure, and flows of either 24 or 30 L min(-1). One hundred and four patients were analysed. Induction of anaesthesia followed by ventilation of the lungs with a bag-valve device and an Oxylator in manual and automatic modes performed by a fireman first responder. Each series was repeated for three conditions (anaesthesia; anaesthesia plus muscle relaxation, both with facemask; anaesthesia plus relaxation using an endotracheal tube).
Results: Patients age 49 +/- 17 yr; 47% males, 48-132 kg. Normocapnia was achieved and maintained in 66% (bag-valve device), 82% (Oxylator).
Conclusions: The use of an oxygen-driven device improves the ability of first responders to achieve and maintain normocapnia even when distracted. Use of the Oxylators improves performance (P < 0.001) vs. the bag-valve device significantly.