Up to date, expert answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about oxygen supply systems, respiratory care and pulse oximetry written by OCC & collaborators.
Respiratory Care Consumables
What different types of ventilator circuit exist?
- There are multiple configurations of dual and single limb circuits (outlined below).
- Note on humidification & circuit configuration: some dual and single limb circuits may contain a heated wire in the inspiratory limb to optimize heat & humidification delivery to the patient and to prevent excess condensation from accumulating when using an active heated humidification system. If an active heated humidification system is used in the absence of a heated wire inspiratory limb, a water trap is often needed. Some water traps may allow for emptying without circuit disconnect (an important consideration with COVID19).
- Dual limb circuit (Figure a, b and c) – used by most traditional critical care ventilators. Flow/pressure and PEEP are commonly measured/controlled in the machine, and thus no additional circuit transducer tubing is needed (a). Some circuits do use proximal flow/pressure sensors (b). These may include a heating element in the inspiratory limb and port for temperature monitoring (c).
- Standard single limb with built in leak (figure A) – mostly for non invasive devices
- Standard single limb circuit with active exhalation valve and internal PEEP – (figure B and C) – These circuits are made by multiple manufacturers and can work with multiple vent models.
- Standard single limb circuit with active exhalation valve and manual PEEP – (figure D)
- Standard single limb circuit with active exhalation valve, internal PEEP and proximal pressure sensor – (figure E) – this is one of the most common single limb circuit setups
- Standard single limb circuit with active exhalation valve, internal PEEP and two proximal pressure/flow sensors – (figure F) – this is usually a proprietary circuit type that is commonly encountered and allows measurement of exhaled tidal volume