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Experimental studies on performance of ventilators stored in the Strategic National Stockpile

Ali Mehrabi, PhD, Patricia Dillon, MD, MPH, Kyle Kelly, Kristina Hitchins, BA, Eileen Malatino, RN, MSc, Susan Gorman, PharmD, MS, Madhusoodana Nambiar, PhD, MSc, Hilda Scharen, MS


Background: The Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched a collaborative initiative with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to gain a better understanding of ventilators that are used during national emergencies. This initiative was intended to test reliability of ventilator devices stored long term in the CDC Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and also used by the Department of Defense. These ventilators are intended to be used by trained operators to provide ventilatory support to adult and pediatric populations under diverse environmental conditions. The authors evaluated device performance and possible effects of long-term storage.

Methods: Three SNS ventilator models: Impact Uni-Vent 754 Eagle™, Covidien (Puritan Bennett) LP10, and CareFusion LTV 1200 were used in this study. A total of 36 ventilators, 12 per model, were evaluated for performance in simulated adult populations using a test lung. The parameters evaluated included battery charge status and capability, battery longevity, positive end expiratory pressure consistency, device performance on AC and DC (battery) power, and device durability testing.

Results: The out-of-the-box run time was equal to or higher than the manufacturer’s specifications for fully charged batteries for all ventilators except 58 percent of the Impact 754 ventilators. No significant ventilator performance issues were observed in terms of tidal volume consistency, proximal pressure, oxygen consumption, and a 2000-hour run test in LP10 models.

Conclusions: These findings provide information about the long-term storage of ventilators that have regular maintenance, and their ability to perform reliably during a public health emergency.


mechanical ventilation, ventilator, positive end expiratory pressure, strategic national stockpile, emergency management, preparedness planning

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