This is a concept video that explores the use of the Oxylator Resuscitator to support surge ventilation events. Utilizing a consumer air compressor of sufficient capacity, a medical professional would be able to ventilate multiple patients with the Oxylator devices utilizing air. Should a higher FIO2 be required, the oxygen can be administered to the capnography/gas analysis port on the ventilation filter.
Ten years ago, I wrote an article for the Journal of Disaster Management on the use of the Oxylator oxygen powered resuscitation device for the management of a surge ventilation event that would overwhelm the available resources of our nation’s medical system. The concept utilized the Oxylator pressurized by air from consumer oil-less (or ‘oil-free’) air compressors to provide the compressed gas to power the ventilation devices and ventilate the patients. That article was never accepted nor published—indeed—it was likely way too ‘experimental’ for that time. Let’s all hope that this concept remains ‘experimental’ and is not required during this unfortunate crisis.
The concept here is to utilize consumer air compressors, in the unfortunate event that medical air compressors are not available in great enough numbers to power the simple ventilation devices that are required in a surge ventilation event.
In order to utilize an air compressor to power an Oxylator, you must understand the pressure and flow requirements of an Oxylator. The Oxylator requires a minimum supply pressure of 40 pounds per square inch (psi), and the capacity to flow 30 liters per minute (lpm) on the inhalation phase of ventilation (the exhalation phase requires no flow at all). An air compressor capable of supplying the pressure and flow to an Oxylator should exceed 1 cubic foot per minute (CFU) flow capacity per Oxylator, as 1 CFU is equivalent to 28.3 lpm. An air compressor with minimum of 0.7 CFU output can conceivably power a single Oxylator (19.8 lpm), however, the compressor motor will run continuously under those conditions.
Consumer air compressors range in price and quality, but generally the higher priced units emit less noise (the California Air Compressor product line includes units that generate a quiet 60 decibels for instance). The larger the compressor tank—the better. Larger tanks can smooth out the pressure and flow requirements of prolonged use of these devices.
The following is a ‘Do-It-Yourself’ parts list based on the online inventory of Amazon.com to convert an Oxylator to consumer air compressor use:
1. Splice the Oxylator hose to a ¼ NPT hose barb in order to then mount a female quick-coupler (edit—I did not invent these names or terms of these parts)
4. Utilize an extension hose for the air compressor that ends in a ‘splitter’ or ‘Air Manifold’ that permits you to plug multiple Oxylators into the end of the extension hose
7. Should supplemental oxygen be needed to raise the inspired oxygen concentration above 21%, oxygen can be instilled directly into the capnography monitoring port of the HEPA filter
Now, about the function of the Oxylator.
The Oxylator is a patient-responsive system—it will adapt to and harmonize with the patient.
All the Oxylator wants is a constant supply pressure with constant flow AND an open airway.
If the Oxylator signals an obstruction to ventilation, the connecting tubing (such as an endotracheal tube).