Aim: To test the hypothesis that in volume targeted ventilation modes, ventilator performance would vary according to ventilator type.
Methods: Four neonatal ventilators: Draeger Babylog 8000 (Draeger Medical, Germany), SLE 5000 infant ventilator (SLE systems, UK), Stephanie paediatric ventilator (F. Stephan Biomedical, German) and V.I.P. Bird gold (Viasys Healthcare, USA) were assessed using a lung model. Delivered peak pressure, inflation time, mean airway pressure (MAP) and volume were measured.
Results: At the same preset ventilator settings, the Stephanie and V.I.P. Bird ventilators delivered significantly lower peak pressures and tended to deliver lower MAPs than the other two ventilators. At a volume targeted ventilation level of 5 mL, the SLE and the V.I.P. Bird delivered significantly shorter inflation times. The above differences related to differences in the airway pressure waveforms delivered by the four ventilators. The V.I.P. Bird had a less variable volume delivery, but this was always significantly lower than the preset volume guarantee level but higher than the volume displayed by the ventilator.
Conclusion: In volume targeted ventilation modes, performance differs between neonatal ventilator types; these results may have implications for clinical practise.