While the market offers its share of transport vents, not all are designed to address the specific challenges of ventilating a neonate outside a hospital setting. Often underweight with underdeveloped lungs, babies require special care.

The key to ventilating a baby during transport depends on a blender that allows the user to dial in any O2 level and a gas line that enables access to a standard circuit, according to Marcus Cain, national sales director for Airon Corporation, which developed the pNeuton mini for neonatal/infant/pediatric use in hospitals, during transport and in the MRI suite.

Capable of supporting patients weighing 400 g to 25 kg, while versatile enough for use in clinical as well transport settings, the mini provides variable flow rate control of 6 to 20 LPM, or CPAP when needed. “An RT with knowledge of inspiratory and expiratory times and oxygen percentage will be familiar with the controls and operation of the mini,” said Cain.

In the absence of a power source, pneumatic operation makes a huge difference, since it requires no batteries, electronics or circuit. “Our unit works with a gas source. It could sit in an ambulance for months and it would not be a problem. There are no batteries to die,” said Cain.

In some cases, transport may not involve an ambulance or aircraft, but a trip to radiology for an MRI or a CAT scan. A typical ventilator involves a metal bracket mounted on the incubator, which prohibits proximity to MRI equipment. With an outside mount, the mini is MRI compatible. “If the IV pole is mounted on the outside of the incubator, it’s better. There is no trauma of removing the baby from the incubator,” Cain said.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the pNeuton mini for sale in the United States in 2012. That year, EMS World hailed the pNeuton mini as one of its top 20 innovative products. The device meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards for critical care vents and RTCA DO-160G criteria for airborne equipment.

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Phyllis Hanlon is a contributing writer to RT. For more information contact [email protected]