Ventrain: an ejector ventilator for emergency use

A. E. W. Hamaekers*, P. A. J. Borg, D. Enk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A small, flow-regulated, manually operated ventilator designed for ventilation through a narrow-bore transtracheal catheter (TTC) has become available (Ventrain, Dolphys Medical BV, Eindhoven, The Netherlands). It is driven by a predetermined flow of oxygen from a high-pressure source and facilitates expiration by suction. The aim of this bench study was to test the efficacy of this new ventilator. The driving pressure, generated insufflation, and suction pressures and also the suction capacity of the Ventrain were measured at different oxygen flows. The minute volume achieved in an artificial lung through a TTC with an inner diameter (ID) of 2 mm was determined at different settings. Oxygen flows of 615 litre min(1) resulted in driving pressures of 0.52.3 bar. Insufflation pressures, measured proximal to the TTC, ranged from 23 to 138 cm H2O. The maximal subatmospheric pressure build-up was 217 cm H2O. The suction capacity increased to a maximum of 12.4 litre min(1) at an oxygen flow of 15 litre min(1). At this flow, the achievable minute volume through the TTC ranged from 5.9 to 7.1 litres depending on the compliance of the artificial lung. The results of this bench study suggest that the Ventrain is capable of achieving a normal minute volume for an average adult through a 2 mm ID TTC. Further in vivo studies are needed to determine the value of the Ventrain as a portable emergency ventilator in a ocannot intubate, cannot ventilate' situation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1021
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • airway management
  • emergencies
  • jet ventilation
  • transtracheal


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