Oxygen FAQ

Up to date, expert answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about oxygen supply systems, respiratory care and pulse oximetry written by OCC & collaborators.

What are the noteworthy differences between transport ventilators and non-transport ventilators?

    • When connected to a high pressure oxygen supply transport ventilators can deliver the FiO2, minute ventilation and pressures required to take care of most critically ill patients.
    • Transport ventilators are durable and designed for use in harsh environments
    • Transport ventilators usually have a turbine or compressor so that they can operate without a high pressure source of medical air. Most non-transport ventilators do not. When connected to a low pressure oxygen supply (such as an oxygen concentrator), transport ventilators may not be able to deliver the FiO2 required to take care of many critically ill patients.
    • Transport ventilators are often louder (especially compressor driven vents) than non-transport ventilators. If there are multiple patients in the same room on these vents, special attention may be required for monitoring. 
    • Transport ventilators may have limitations in terms of monitoring and displays  
    • Transport ventilators usually have at least the basic modes necessary for critical care, though may have fewer features for customization than traditional ICU ventilators 
    • Relative to some other non-transport ventilators, transport ventilators may have limited NIV functionality (HFNC, CPAP, BiPAP functions) or may not be as good with asynchronous patients
    • Transport ventilators can run without external power (for short periods of time), and without oxygen supply, or compressed air supply  
    • See these comparison tables of transport ventilators and non-transport ventilators by the ECRI. (Please reference the manufacturers’ manuals as the accuracy of this table is not guaranteed). 

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