The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of the VersaMed iVent ventilator in the
acute care setting, hypothesizing that, in comparison to the standard approach, the use of
the VersaMed will facilitate transport and reduce transport-associated complications while
providing equivalent ventilatory support and transport success rates for both intubated
patients and patients receiving noninvasive ventilation.
Transporting acute-care patients who require mechanical ventilation within a hospital can be
fraught with hazards. Prior studies have revealed a high level of transport-associated
complications including episodes of hypertension, hypoxemia, respiratory arrest, and death
(1). In many institutions, the preferred method of transporting intubated patients is to use
manual ventilation with a resuscitator bag, an approach that fully occupies one member of
the transport team. Using a transport ventilator involves taking an intubated patient who
has been placed on one ventilator and switching the patient to the transport ventilator;
until now, transport ventilators had not been designed to match the capabilities of the more
robustly engineered critical care ventilators.
The use of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) to treat patients with COPD exacerbations and other
forms of respiratory failure has increased because of its demonstrated efficacy in reducing
the need for intubation as well as morbidity and mortality (2). None of the ventilators
usually used for noninvasive ventilation was designed for in-patient transport.
Currently, the standard of care in this institution is to transport intubated patients
receiving mechanical ventilation by using a manual resuscitation bag and to transport
patients receiving NIV by placing the patient on oxygen therapy without ventilatory support.
The VersaMed iVent ventilator was designed to treat respiratory failure in the acute care
setting. The device is suitable for patients who are intubated as well as for patients
receiving noninvasive ventilation, has a backup battery so that it can function during
transport, and has been approved by the FDA for invasive and noninvasive mechanical
ventilation. This device permits continuity of mechanical ventilation virtually regardless
of patient status.
We propose to evaluate the utility of the VersaMed iVent ventilator in the acute care
setting, hypothesizing that, in comparison to the standard approach, the use of the VersaMed
will facilitate transport, reduce transport-associated complications, and provide equivalent
ventilatory support and transport-success rates for both intubated patients and patients
1. Braman SS, Dunn SM, Amico CA, Millman RP. Complications of intrahospital transport in
critically ill patients. Ann Intern Med 1987; 107:469-73.
2. Mehta S, Hill NS. Noninvasive ventilation-state of the art. Am J Respir Crit Care Med
2001; Feb; 163(2):540-77.
- Patients eligible for the trial will be receiving mechanical ventilation in the
emergency department, critical care, and other patient care areas; and will require
transport within the hospital.
- Patient must be at least eighteen years of age.