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Original Article

Automatic Transport Ventilator Versus Bag Valve in the EMS Setting: A Prospective, Randomized Trial

Steven J. Weiss, MD, Amy A. Ernst, MD, Ray Jones, EMT-P, Margaret Ong, RN, Todd Filbrun, EMT-P, Chad Augustin, EMT-P, Mike Barnum, MD, Todd G. Nick, PHD
Volume: 98 Issue: 10 October, 2005

Abstract:

Purpose: The primary objective of this study was to compare Emergency Medical Technicians-Paramedics (EMT-P) perceptions of the usefulness of an automatic transport ventilator (ATV) compared with bag valve (BV) ventilation for intubated patients.


Methods: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or assisted ventilation patients were randomly assigned by day to the ATV or BV arm of the study. Questionnaires were completed by the EMT-Ps at the conclusion of each patient enrollment. EMT-Ps were asked to rate the modality used (ATV versus BV) on ease of use, time of setup, expedition of transport, additional tasks completed, documentation, overall patient care, and patient comfort.


Results: Twenty-eight patients were entered into the study, 14 in the BV arm and 14 in the ATV arm. There were significant differences in favor of the ATV in ability to accomplish additional tasks (P = 0.01), ability to document (P = 0.04), and ability to provide patient care (P = 0.03)


Conclusions: EMT-Ps were able to accomplish more tasks, document more completely, and provide better patient care with the use of the ATV.


Key Points


* Use of an automatic transport ventilator allowed EMTs to accomplish extra tasks, document better, and provide better patient care.


* Side effects are no different between the automatic transport ventilator and the bag valve.


* Physiological data can be effectively gathered during field care of intubated patients.

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