Use of a Respiratory Volume Monitor to Assess Respiratory Competence in Cardiac Surgery Patients After Extubation

Stephan Ianchulev, Diane Ladd, C. Marshall MacNabb, Lizeng Qin, Nathan Marengi, Jenny Freeman


Background: Patients who have undergone cardiac surgery are generally mechanically ventilated postoperatively. Early postoperative extubation is currently recommended in anesthesia guidelines. No current technology can accurately, non-invasively, measure respiratory competence after extubation. Pulse oximetry has been helpful, but this is a late indicator of respiratory compromise. A novel, non-invasive, respiratory volume monitor (RVM) has been shown to deliver accurate continuous, real-time minute ventilation (MV), tidal volume (TV) and respiratory rate (RR) measurements and provide an objective measure of respiratory competence. The RVM will accurately reflect MV, TV and RR in cardiac surgery patients before and after extubation.

Methods: RVM traces were recorded from patients before and after cardiac surgery. Continuous monitoring began on admission to the unit and was ended at 24 h after extubation. RVM-based MV, TV and RR were calculated from 30-s segments. MV, TV and RR were also continuously recorded from the ventilator prior to extubation. The RVM was calibrated to each patient using the readings from the ventilator.

Results: During mechanical ventilation, the RVM measured TVs strongly correlated with the ventilator TVs (r = 0.97). Following extubation, the patients breathing became more erratic and TVs and MVs decreased. Within 1 h, all patients studied showed a marked recovery of MV and TV.

Conclusions: RVM-based MV, TV and RR correlated well with similar data collected from ventilators. After extubation, RVM shows promise as a means to monitor respiratory competence of non-intubated patients, and has implications for use in other settings and improving patient safety.

J Clin Med Res. 2017;9(1):17-22


Non-invasive; Respiratory volume monitor; Ventilation; Postoperative

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