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Portable drag compressor powered mechanical ventilator

Title: Portable drag compressor powered mechanical ventilator.
Abstract: A ventilator, device and system comprising a rotating compressor, preferably a drag compressor, which, at the beginning of each inspiratory ventilation phase, is accelerated to a sufficient speed to deliver the desired inspiratory gas flow, and is subsequently stopped or decelerated to a basal flow level to permit the expiratory ventilation phase to occur. The ventilator device is small and light weight enough to be utilized in portable applications. The ventilator device is power efficient enough to operate for extended periods of time on internal or external batteries. Also provided is an oxygen blending apparatus which utilizes solenoid valves having specific orifice sizes for blending desired amounts of oxygen into the inspiratory gas flow. Also provided is an exhalation valve having an exhalation flow transducer which incorporates a radio frequency data base to provide an attendant controller with specific calibration information for the exhalation flow transducer. ... Browse recent Bird Products Corporation patents
USPTO Applicaton #: #20090084381
Inventors: Douglas F. Devries, Michael J. Cegielski, Warner V. Graves, Jr., Malcolm R. Williams, Michael B. Holmes

The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20090084381, Portable drag compressor powered mechanical ventilator.


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The present invention pertains generally to medical equipment and more particularly to a compressor powered mechanical ventilator device for delivering respiratory ventilation to a mammalian patient.


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A. Principles of Mechanical Ventilation

In many clinical settings mechanical ventilators are used to facilitate the respiratory flow of gas into and out of the lungs of patients who are sick, injured or anesthetized.

In general, mechanical ventilators provide a repetitive cycling of ventilatory flow, each such repetitive cycle being separated into two phases—an inspiratory phase followed by an expiratory phase.

The inspiratory phase of the ventilator cycle is characterized by the movement of positive-pressure inspiratory flow of gas through the ventilator circuit and into the lungs of the patient. The expiratory phase of the ventilatory cycle is characterized by cessation of the positive pressure inspiratory flow long enough to allow lung deflation to occur. The exhaled gas is vented from the ventilator circuit, typically through an exhalation valve. In patient whose lungs and thoracic musculature exhibit normal compliance, the act of exhalation is usually permitted to occur spontaneously without mechanical assistance from the ventilator.

It is sometimes desirable to control the airway pressure during exhalation to maintain a predetermined amount of positive back pressure during all, or a portion of, the respiratory cycle. Such techniques are often utilized to treat impairments of lung capacity due to pulmonary atelectasis or other factors.

The mechanical ventilators of the prior art have been grouped under various classification schemes, based on various criteria. In general, mechanical ventilators may be grouped or classified according to the parameter(s) which are utilized for a) triggering, b) limiting and c) terminating (e.g., cycling) the inspiratory phase of the ventilator cycle.

“Triggering” is the action that initiates the inspiratory phase of the ventilator cycle. The initiation of the inspiratory phase may be triggered by the ventilator or the patient. The variables and/or parameters which are utilized to trigger the beginning of the inspiratory phase include: time (i.e., respiratory rate), the commencement of spontaneous inhalation by the patient and/or combinations thereof.

“Limiting” of the inspiratory phase refers to the manner in which the inspiratory gas flow is maintained within prescribed ranges to optimize the ventilation of the patient's lungs. The limiting variables and/or parameters are typically controlled by the ventilator; but may change as a result of patient effort and/or physiologic variables such as lung compliance and airway resistance. The variables and/or parameters which are utilized or limiting the inspiratory phase include flow rate, airway pressure and delivered volume.

“Terminating” or “cycling” of the inspiratory phase of the ventilator cycle refers to the point at which the inspiratory flow is stopped and the ventilator and/or patient are permitted to “cycle” into the expiratory phase. Depending on the ventilator control settings, the termination of the inspiratory phase may be brought about by the ventilator or the patient. The variables and/or parameters which are utilized to terminate the inspiratory phase include: time; peak airway pressure; and/or tidal volume (Vt).

B. Mechanical Ventilation Modes Utilized In Modern Clinical Practice

In addition Mechanical ventilators are utilized to deliver various “modes” of mechanical ventilation, the particular mode of ventilation being selected or prescribed based on the clinical condition of the patient and the overall objective (i.e., long term ventilation, short term ventilation, weaning from ventilator, etc. . . . ) of the mechanical ventilation.

I. Ventilation Modes

i. Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation (IMV)

Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation is a ventilation mode wherein a spontaneously breathing patient receives intermittent mechanical inflation supplied asynchronously by the ventilator.

ii. Synchronized Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation (SMIV)

Synchronized Intermittent Mandatory Ventilation is a ventilation mode wherein a spontaneously breathing patient receives occasional mandatory ventilatory breaths. Mandatory ventilator breaths are synchronized with the patient's spontaneous inspiratory efforts.

iii. Controlled Mechanical Ventilation (CMV)

Controlled Mechanical Ventilation (CMV) is a ventilation mode wherein mechanical breaths are delivered to the patient at time intervals which are unaffected by patient efforts. Controlled Mechanical Ventilation is typically utilized in patients who are not breathing spontaneously.

iv. Assist/Control Ventilation (A/C)

Assist/Control Ventilation (A/C) is a ventilation mode wherein the patient is able to volitionally alter the frequency of mandatory ventilator breaths received, but can not alter the flow and title volume (Vt) of each ventilator breath received. Controlled, mandatory breaths are initiated by the ventilator based on the set breath rate. In addition, the patient can demand and trigger an assist breath. After successful triggering of an assist breath, the exhalation valve is closed and gas is delivered to the patient to satisfy the preset tidal volume, peak flow and wave form.

C. Breath Types Utilized in Modern Clinical Practice

Breath types are typically classified according to the 25 particular functions which control: a) triggering; b) limiting; and c) cycling of each breath delivered by the mechanical ventilator, as described and defined hereabove.

Typical breath types and ventilator parameters utilized in modern clinical practice include the following:

i. Machine-Cycled—Mandatory Breath

A machine-cycled, mandatory breath is a breath that is triggered, limited and cycled by the ventilator.

ii. Machine-Cycled—Assist Breath

A machine cycled assist breath is a breath that is triggered by the patient, but is limited and cycled by the ventilator.

iii. Patient-Cycled—Supported Breath

A patient-cycled, supported breath is a breath that is triggered by the patient, limited by the ventilator, and cycled by the patient.

iv. Patient-Cycled—Spontaneous Breath

A patient-cycled spontaneous breath is a breath that is triggered, limited and cycled by the patient. While patient effort limits the flow, and hence the inspiratory volume of the breath, the ventilator may also limit the breath by providing a flow that is Lo low to maintain a constant pressure in the face of patient inspiratory demand.

v. Volume-Controlled. Mandatory Breaths

Volume-controlled breaths are machine-triggered mandatory breaths. The inspiratory phase is initiated by the ventilatory based on a preset breath rate. The inspiratory phase is ended, and the expiratory phase begun, when the breath delivery is determined to be complete based on a preset tidal volume, peak flow and wave form setting. The ventilator remains in expiratory phase until the next inspiratory phase begins.

vi. Volume-Controlled—Assist Breaths

Volume-controlled breaths are machine cycled supported breaths that are initiated by the patient. Volume-controlled assist breaths may be initiated only when the “assist window” is open. The “assist window” is the interval or time during which the ventilator is programmed to monitor inspiratory flow for the purpose of detecting patient inspiratory effort. When a ventilator breath is triggered, the inspiratory phase of such breath will continue until a preset tidal volume peak flow and wave form have been achieved. Thereafter, the exhalation valve is open to permit the expiratory phase to occur. The ventilatory remains in the expiratory phase until the next patient-triggered breath, or the next mandatory inspiratory phase, begins.

vii. Pressure-Controlled Breaths

Pressure-Controlled breaths are delivered by the ventilator using pressure as the key variable for limiting of the inspiratory phase. During pressure control, both the target pressure and the inspiratory time are set, and the tidal volume delivered by the ventilator is a function of these pressure and time settings. The actual tidal volume delivered in each pressure-controlled breath is strongly influenced by patient physiology.

viii. Pressure Support Breaths

Pressure support breaths are triggered by the patient, limited by the ventilator, and cycled by the patient. Thus, each breath is triggered by patient inspiratory effort, but once such triggering occurs the ventilator will assure that a predetermined airway pressure is maintained through the inspiratory phase. The inspiratory phase ends, and the expiratory phase commences, when the patients inspiratory flow has diminished to a preset baseline level.

xi. Sigh Breaths

A sigh breath is a machine-triggered and cycled, volume-controlled, mandatory breath, typically equal to 1.5 times the current tidal volume setting. The inspiratory phase of each sigh breath delivers a preset tidal volume and peak flow. The duration of the inspiratory phase of each sigh breath is limited to a maximum time period, typically 5.5 seconds. The ventilator may be set to deliver a sign function automatically after a certain time interval (typically 100 breaths for every 7 minutes), which ever interval is shorter. The sigh breath function it may be utilized during control, assist and SIMV modes of operation, and is typically disabled or not utilized in conjunction with pressure controlled breath types or continuous positive air way pressure (CPAP).

x. Proportional Assist Ventilation (PAV)

Proportional Assist Ventilation (PAV) is a type of ventilator breath wherein the ventilator simply amplifies the spontaneous inspiratory effort of the patient, while allowing the patient to remain in complete control of the tidal volume, time duration and flow pattern of each breath received.

xi. Volume Assured Pressure Support (VAPS)

Volume Assured Pressure Support (VAPS) is a type of ventilator breath wherein breath initiation and delivery is similar to a pressure support breath. Additionally, the ventilator is programmed to assure that a preselected tidal volume (Vt) is delivered during such spontaneously initiated breath.

D. Oxygen Enrichment of the Inspiratory Flow

It is sometimes desirable for mechanical ventilators to be equipped with an oxygen-air mixing apparatus for oxygen enrichment of the inspiratory flow. Normal room air has an oxygen content (FiO2) of 21%. In clinical practice, it is often times desirable to ventilate patients with oxygen FiO2 from 21% to 100%. Thus, it is desirable for mechanical ventilators to incorporate systems for blending specific amounts of oxygen with ambient air to provide a prescribed oxygen-enriched FiO2. Typically, volume-cycle ventilators which utilize a volume displacement apparatus have incorporated oxygen mixing mechanisms whereby compressed oxygen is combined with ambient air to produce the selected FiO2 as both gases are drawn into the displacement chamber during the expiratory phase of the ventilator cycle. Nonbellows-type volume-cycled ventilators have incorporated other air-oxygen blending systems for mixing the desired relative volumes of oxygen and air, and for delivering such oxygen-air mixture through the inspirations circuitry of the ventilator.

E. Regulation/Control of Expiratory Pressure

The prior art has included separately controllable exhalation valves which may be preset to exert desired patterns or amounts of expiratory back pressure, when such back pressure is desired to prevent atelectasis or to otherwise improve the ventilation of the patient.

The following are examples of expiratory pressure modes which are frequently utilized in clinical practice:

i. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is employed during periods of spontaneous breathing by the patient. This mode of ventilation is characterized by the maintenance of a continuously positive airway pressure during both the inspiratory phase, and the expiratory phase, of the patient\'s spontaneous respiration cycle.

ii. Positive End Expiratory Pressure (PEEP)

In Positive End Expiratory Pressure a predetermined level of positive pressure is maintained in the airway at the end of the expiratory phase of the cycle. Typically, this is accomplished by controlling the exhalation valve so that the exhalation valve may open only until the circuit pressure has decreased to a preselected positive level, at which point the expiration valve closes again to maintain the preselected positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP).

F. Portable Ventilators of the Prior Art

The prior art has included some non-complex portable ventilators which have inherent limitations as to the number and type of variables and/or parameters which may be utilized to trigger, limit and/or terminate the ventilator cycle. Although such non-complex ventilators of the prior art are often sufficiently power efficient and small enough for portable use, their functional limitations typically render them unsuitable for long term ventilation or delivery of complex ventilation modes and or breath types.

The prior art has also included non-portable, complex microprocessor controlled ventilators of the type commonly used in hospital intensive care units. Such ventilators typically incorporate a microcomputer controller which is capable of being programmed to utilize various different variables and/or parameters for triggering, limiting and terminating the inspiratory phase of the ventilator cycle. Complex ventilators of this type are typically capable of delivering many different ventilation modes and or breath types and are selectively operable in various volume-cycled, pressure cycled or time-cycled modes. However, these complex ventilators of the prior art have typically been too large in size, and too power inefficient, for battery-driven portable use. As a result of these factors, most of the complex micro-processor controlled ventilators of the prior art are feasible for use only in hospital critical care units.

As is well known there exist numerous settings, outside of hospital critical care units, where patients could benefit from the availability of a small, battery powered, complex microprocessor controlled mechanical ventilator capable of delivering extended modes of ventilation. For example, critically ill patients sometimes require transport outside of the hospital in various transport vehicles, such as ambulances and helicopters. Also, critical care patients are sometimes transiently moved, within the hospital, from the critical care unit to various special procedure areas (e.g., radiology department, emergency room, catheterization lab etc.,) where they may undergo diagnostic or therapeutic procedures net available in the critical care unit. Additionally, patients who require long term ventilation are not always candidates for admission to acute care hospital critical care units or may be discharged to stepdown units or extended care facilities. Also, some non-hospitalized patients may require continuous or intermittent ventilatory support. Many of these patients could benefit from the use of complex microprocessor controlled ventilators, but maybe unable to obtain such benefit due to the non-feasibility of employing such ventilators outside of the hospital-critical care unit environment.

In view of the foregoing limitations on the usability of prior art complex microprocessor controlled volume cycled ventilators, there exists a substantial need in the art for the development of a portable, highly efficient, ventilator capable of programmed delivery of various modern ventilatory modes and breath types, while also being capable of use outside of the hospital critical care unit environment, such as in transport vehicles, extended care facilities and patients homes, etc.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,493,614 (Chu et al.) entitled “PUMP FOR A PORTABLE VENTILATOR” describes a reciprocating piston pump which is purportedly usable in a portable ventilator operable on only internal or external battery power.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,957,107 (Sipin) entitled “GAS DELIVERY MEAN” describes a rotating drag compressor gas delivery system which is ostensibly small enough to be utilized in a portable ventilator. The system described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,957,107 utilizes a high speed rotary compressor which delivers a substantially constant flow of compressed gas. The rotary compressor does not accelerate and decelerate at the beginning and end of each inspiratory phase of the ventilator cycle. Rather, the rotating compressor runs continuously, and a diverter valve is utilized to alternately direct the outflow of the compressor a) into the patients lungs during the inspiratory phase of the ventilation cycle, and b) through an exhaust pathway during the expiratory phase of the ventilation cycle.

Thus, there remains a substantial need for the development of an improved portable mechanical ventilator which incorporates the following features:

A. Capable of operating for extended periods (i.e., at least 2½ hours) using a single portable battery or battery pack as the sole power source;

B. Programmable for use in various different ventilatory modes, such as the above-described IMV, SMV, CMV, PAV, A/C and VPAS.

C. Usable to ventilate non-intubated mask patients as well as intubated patients.

D. Oxygen blending capability for delivering oxygen-enriched inspiratory flow.

E. Capable of providing controlled exhalation back pressure for CPAP or PEEP.

F. Portable, e.g., less than 30 lbs.


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The present invention specifically addresses the above referenced deficiencies and needs of the prior art by providing comprises a mechanical ventilator device which incorporates a rotary compressor for delivering intermittent inspiratory gas flow by repeatedly accelerating and decelerating the compression rotor at the beginning and end of each inspiratory phase. Prior to commencement of each inspiratory ventilation phase, the rotary compressor is stopped, or rotated at a basal rotational speed. Upon commencement of an inspiratory phase, the rotary compressor is accelerated to a greater velocity for delivering the desired inspiratory gas flow. At the end of each inspiratory phase, the rotational velocity of the compressor is decelerated to the basal velocity, or is stopped until commencement of the next inspiratory ventilation phase. A programmable controller is preferably incorporated to control the timing and rotational velocity of the compressor. Additionally, the controller may be programmed to cause the compressor to operate in various modes of ventilation, and various breath types, as employed in modern clinical practice.

Further in accordance with the present invention, there is provided an oxygen blending apparatus which may be utilized optionally with the rotatable compressor ventilation device of the present invention. The oxygen blending apparatus of the present invention comprises a series of valves having flow restricting orifices of varying size. The valves are individually opened and closed to provide a desired oxygen enrichment of the inspiratory gas flow. The oxygen blending apparatus of the present invention may be controlled by a programmable controller associated with, or separate from, the ventilator controller.

Still further in accordance with the invention, there is provided an exhalation valve apparatus comprising a housing which defines an expiratory flow path therethrough and a valving system for controlling the airway pressure during the expiratory phase of the ventilation cycle. A pressure transducer monitors airway pressure during exhalation the output of which is used by the controller to adjust the valving system to maintain desired airway pressure.

In addition the present invention utilizes an exhalation flow transducer to accurately measure patient exhalation flow which may be utilized for determination of exhaled volume and desired triggering of inspiratory flow. In the preferred embodiment, the exhalation flow transducer is integrally formed with the exhalation valve, however, those skilled in the art will recognize that the same can be a separate component insertable into the system. To insure transducer performance accuracy, in the preferred embodiment, the particular operational characteristics of each flow transducer are stored within a memory device preferably a radio-frequency transponder mounted within the exhalation valve to transmit the specific calibration information for the exhalation flow transducer to the controller. Further, the particular construction and mounting of the flow transducer within the exhalation valve is specifically designed to minimize fabrication inaccuracies.

Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading and understanding of the following detailed description of preferred embodiments, and upon consideration of the accompanying drawings.


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FIG. 1 is a basic schematic diagram of a preferred ventilator system of the present invention incorporating, a rotary compressor ventilator device, an optional air-oxygen blending apparatus; and a controllable exhalation valve, and a programmable controller or central processing unit (CPU) which is operative to control and coordinate the functioning of the ventilator, oxygen blending apparatus and exhalation valve.

FIG. 2 is a detailed schematic diagram of a ventilator system of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the control panel of a preferred ventilator system of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a preferred drag compressor apparatus which may be incorporated into the ventilator system of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a longitudinal sectional view through line 5-5 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged view of a segment of FIG. 5.

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