Mechanical Ventilation in ARDS With an Automatic Resuscitator

Mayson LA Sousa, Bhushan H. Katira, Doreen Engelberts, Vanessa Hsing, Annia Schreiber, Annemijn H. Jonkman, Martin Post, Paul Dorian, Laurent J. Brochard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The Oxylator is an automatic resuscitator, powered only by an oxygen cylinder with no electricity required, that could be used in acute respiratory failure in situations in which standard mechanical ventilation is not available or feasible. We aimed to assess the feasibility and safety of mechanical ventilation by using this automatic resuscitator in an animal model of ARDS. METHODS: A randomized experimental study in a porcine ARDS model with 12 pigs randomized to the Oxylator group or the control group (6 per group) and ventilated for 4 h. In the Oxylator group, peak pressure was set at 20 cm H2O and PEEP was set at the lowest observed breathing frequency during a decremental PEEP titration. The control pigs were ventilated with a conventional ventilator by using protective settings and PEEP at the crossing point of collapse and overdistention, as indicated by electrical impedance tomography. Our end points were feasibility and safety as well as respiratory mechanics, gas exchange, and hemodynamics. RESULTS: After lung injury, the mean ± SD respiratory system compliance and PaO2 /FIO2 were 13 ± 2 mL/cm H2O and 61 ± 17 mm Hg, respectively. The mean ± SD total PEEP was 10 ± 2 cm H2O and 13 ± 2 cm H2O in the control and Oxylator groups, respectively (P = .046). The mean plateau pressure was kept to < 30 cm H2O in both groups. In the Oxylator group, the tidal volume was transiently > 8 mL/kg but was 6 ± 0.4 mL/kg at 4 h, whereas the breathing frequency increased from 38 ± 4 to 48 ± 3 breaths/min (P < .001). There was no difference in driving pressure, compliance, PaO2 /FIO2 , and pulmonary shunt between the groups. The mean ± SD PaCO2 was higher in the Oxylator group after 4 h, 74 ± 9 mm Hg versus 58 ± 6 mm Hg (P < .001). There were no differences in hemodynamics between the groups, including blood pressure and cardiac output. CONCLUSIONS: Short-term mechanical ventilation by using an automatic resuscitator and a fixed pressure setting in an ARDS animal model was feasible and safe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-619
Number of pages9
JournalRespiratory care
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • artificial respiration
  • mechanical ventilators
  • rescue ventilation
  • respiratory distress syndrome
  • respiratory insufficiency
  • ventilator-induced lung injury


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