The patent's assignee is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure generally relates to a method and system for providing ventilator therapy to a patient. More specifically, the present disclosure relates to a method of adjusting the operation of a ventilator to compensate for the flow of gas created by an external gas source, such as a nebulizer, to improve the ventilation therapy.
"Clinicians commonly utilize a nebulizer to provide aerosoled drug delivery to a patient that is connected to a ventilator. Nebulizers are typically placed in the inspiratory limb of a patient circuit and are used to inject an aerosoled drug directly into the flow stream of the breathing gases for the patient. Nebulizers are typically pneumatic or ultrasonic technology-based devices that are run continuously for a period of time until delivery of discrete doses of the drug or agent have been completed.
"When utilizing a pneumatic nebulizer, the nebulized agent supplied to the patient is received from the nebulizer entrained in a nebulizer gas flow. The nebulizer gas flow including the entrained nebulized agent is added to the flow of gas from the ventilator such that the combined gas flow is provided to the patient during the inspiratory phase.
"Although the use of a nebulizer to introduce a nebulized agent into the flow of gas to the patient functions well to deliver the nebulized agent, the addition of the nebulizer gas flow to the gas flow from the ventilator can create problems. In most modern ventilators, the flow of gas from the nebulizer is added downstream from the sensors that measure the inspiratory gas flow from the ventilator. In such an embodiment, the gas flow measured during the expiratory phase is higher than the corresponding inspiratory volume from the ventilator. The increased volume of the expiratory gas flow can lead to unnecessary alarm conditions in the ventilator. Without some type of compensation for the flow provided by the nebulizer or other external device, the ventilator can generate unnecessary alarms, which significantly reduces the reliability of the volumes measured during the inspiratory and expiratory phase. Alternatively, the patient could be over-ventilated due to the unmeasured inspiratory flow from the nebulizer."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, NewsRx correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present disclosure relates to a method and system for operating a ventilator to compensate for external gas flows being provided to the patient downstream from the ventilator. The method and system allows the ventilator to compensate for the external gas flow rates without having to receive any information directly from the external device delivering the additional gas flow.
"The ventilator includes a control unit that operates one or more valves to control the flow rate of one or more gases from the ventilator. An inspiratory flow sensor is included in the ventilator that allows the control unit to monitor the flow rate of gas leaving the ventilator. The ventilator further includes an expiratory flow sensor that receives and measures the flow of gas in the expiratory limb, which includes the flow from the patient during exhalation and any portion of the flow from the inspiratory limb that bypasses the patient. During normal operation without any external gas flow being provided to the patient other than from the ventilator, the net volume of gas measured over a breath cycle is approximately zero.
"When an external device, such as a nebulizer, provides an external gas flow to the patient in addition to the gas flow from the ventilator, the difference between the flow rate determined by the inspiratory flow sensor and the flow rate determined by the expiratory flow sensor will not be zero due to the unmeasured external gas flow. The value of the net flow rate represents the gas flow from the external device, such as the nebulizer. Since the gas flow from the external device is injected into the gas flow downstream from the ventilator, the actual volume of gas inspired by the patient during each breath cycle is above a desired tidal volume set by the operator.
"The control unit operates one or more flow valves contained within the ventilator to reduce the flow rate from the ventilator by the determined flow rate from the nebulizer. In this manner, the combined flow from the ventilator and the nebulizer will equal the desired inspiratory flow rate. By determining the external flow rate, the ventilator can reduce the flow from the ventilator and thus compensate for the external flow rate such that the actual flow rate of gas delivered to the patient is maintained at a desired level.
"Various other features, objects and advantages of the invention will be made apparent from the following description taken together with the drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The drawings illustrate the best mode presently contemplated of carrying out the disclosure. In the drawings:
"FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a mechanical ventilator and nebulizer for ventilating a patient; and
"FIG. 2 is a flow chart illustrating the steps for adjusting the flow rate from the ventilator to compensate for the flow rate from a nebulizer."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Hunsicker, Paul; Stephenson,
Keywords for this news article include: Therapy, Critical Care Medicine,
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