Question 15

List the essential characteristics  of a  ventilator for use in the helicopter transport  of a critically ill patient.

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College Answer

The essential characteristics of a transport ventilator for this role are :

•    easily portable (weighing <5 kg)

•    able to deliver air mix or 100% oxygen

•    able to be triggered by the patient when time cycled

•    consume only those gases equal to minute volume and therefore require minimum gas supply

•    compact size

•    able to ventilate a variety of patient sizes/ages

•    have airway pressure and apnoea alarms built in

•    able to use variable PEEP

Ideal range of features may include:

•    Capability for a variety of modes eg SIMV, PSV

•    Variable FiO2


This question is a direct rip-off of Table 4.2 (page 32) from Oh's Manual, "Features of an Ideal Transport Ventilator".

The features listed in this table include the following:

  • Small, light, robust and cheap
  • Independent of an external power wource
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Economical with gas consumption
  • Suitable for patients of all sizes, from neonates to huge adults
  • Totally variable FiO2
  • Able to deliver a variety of modes of ventilation
  • Able to ventilate with variable I:E ratios
  • Integrated monitoring and alarm functions
  • Alarms should be visual and auditory
  • Altitude compensated ventilation


Oh's Intensive Care manual:

  • Chapter 4 (pp.27)    Transport  of  critically  ill  patients   by Evan  R  Everest  and  Matthew  R  Hoope