T-piece resuscitators: can they provide safe ventilation in a low compliant newborn lung?

Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2021 Jan;106(1):25-30. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2019-318673. Epub 2020 Jun 16.


Background: T-piece resuscitators (TPRs) are used for primary newborn resuscitation in birthing and emergency rooms worldwide. A recent study has shown spikes in peak inflation pressure (PIP) over set values with two brands of TPRs inbuilt into infant warmer/resuscitation platforms. We aimed to compare delivered ventilation between two TPR drivers with inflation pressure spikes to a standard handheld TPR in a low test lung compliance (Crs), leak-free bench test model.

Methods: A single operator provided positive pressure ventilation to a low compliance test lung model (Crs 0.2-1 mL/cmH2O) at set PIP of 15, 25, 35 and 40 cmH2O. Two TPR devices with known spikes (Draeger Resuscitaire, GE Panda) were compared with handheld Neopuff (NP). Recommended settings for positive end-expiratory pressure (5 cmH2O), inflation rate of 60/min and gas flow rate 10 L/min were used.

Results: 2293 inflations were analysed. Draeger and GE TPR drivers delivered higher mean PIP (Panda 18.9-49.5 cmH2O; Draeger 21.2-49.2 cmH2O and NP 14.8-39.9 cmH2O) compared with set PIP and tidal volumes (TVs) compared with the NP (Panda 2.9-7.8 mL; Draeger 3.8-8.1 mL; compared with NP 2.2-6.0 mL), outside the prespecified acceptable range (±10% of set PIP and ±10% TV compared with NP).

Conclusion: The observed spike in PIP over set values with Draeger and GE Panda systems resulted in significantly higher delivered volumes compared with the NP with identical settings. Manufacturers need to address these differences. The effect on patient outcomes is unknown.

Keywords: intensive care; neonatology; respiratory; resuscitation.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung Compliance / physiology*
  • Manikins
  • Respiration, Artificial / instrumentation*
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*