Effects of decreasing inspiratory times during simulated bag-valve-mask ventilation
During CPR, an inspiratory time of 2 s is recommended when the airway is unprotected; indicating that approximately 30% of the resuscitation attempt is spent on ventilation, but not on chest compressions. Since survival rates may not decrease when ventilation levels are relatively low, and uninterrupted chest compressions with a constant rate of approximately 100/min have been shown to be lifesaving, it may be beneficial to cut down the time spent on ventilation, and instead, increase the time for chest compressions. In an established bench model of a simulated unprotected airway, we evaluated if inspiratory time can be decreased from 2 to 1 s at different lower oesophageal sphincter pressure (LOSP) levels during ventilation with a bag-valve-mask device. In comparison with an inspiratory time of 2 s, 1 s resulted in significantly (p < 0.001) higher peak airway pressure and peak inspiratory flow rate, while lung tidal volumes at all LOSP levels were clinically comparable. Neither ventilation strategy produced stomach inflation at 20 cmH2O LOSP, and 1 s versus 2 s inspiratory time did not produce significantly higher (mean +/- S.D.) stomach inflation at 15 (8 +/-9 ml versus 0 +/- 0 ml; p < 0.01) and 10 cmH2O LOSP (69 +/- 20 ml versus 34 +/- 18 ml; p < 0.001), and significantly lower stomach inflation at 5 cmH2O LOSP (219 +/- 16 ml versus 308 +/- 21 ml; p < 0.001) per breath. Total cumulative stomach inflation volume over constantly decreasing LOSP levels with an inspiratory time of 2 s versus 1 s was higher (6820 ml versus 5920 ml). In conclusion, in this model of a simulated unprotected airway, a reduction of inspiratory time from 2 to 1 s resulted in a significant increase of peak airway pressure and peak inspiratory flow rate, while lung tidal volumes remained clinically comparable (up to approximately 15% difference), but statistically different due to the precise measurements. Theoretically, this may increase the time available for, and consequently the actual number of, chest compressions during CPR by approximately 25% without risking an excessive increase in stomach inflation.