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United States Patent [w]
Rossen et al.
 Inventors: Thomas Rossen; Dieter Sahmkow,
both of Liibeck, Germany
 Assignee: Dragerwerk AG, Liibeck, Germany
 Appl. No.: 796,516
 Filed: Feb. 6, 1997
 Foreign Application Priority Data
Jun. 20, 1996 [DE] Germany 196 24 561.3
 Int. C I. A61M 16/00
 U.S. CI 128/204.21; 128/204.18;
 Field of Search 128/204.21, 204.18,
128/208.12, 208.14, 203.25, 204.24, 205.11
 References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
3,435,822 4/1969 Ziermann et al 128/204.24
3,863,630 2/1975 Cavallo .
4,186,737 2/1980 Valenta et al 128/204.24
4,197,842 4/1980 Anderson 128/203.12
4,313,436 2/1982 Schwanbom et al 128/208.19
5,161,525 11/1992 Kimm et al 128/204.26
5,211,170 5/1993 Press 128/204.18
5,239,994 8/1993 Atkins 128/204.18
5,452,714 9/1995 Anderson et al 128/205.11
5,615,669 4/1997 Olsson et al 128/203.25
US005823186A [ii] Patent Number: 5,823,186  Date of Patent: Oct. 20, 1998
FOREIGN PATENT DOCUMENTS
2036184 9/1991 Canada A61M 16/00
0 343 542 11/1989 European Pat. Off. .
33 06 607 9/1983 Germany .
2176313 12/1986 United Kingdom 128/203.12
Primary Examiner—-John G. Weiss
Assistant Examiner—-V. Srivastava
Attorney, Agent, or Firm—McGlew and Tuttle
A compact respirator, which is independent from a central air supply includes at least two gas supply lines, which lead to a gas mixer in the inspiration line. The gas lines are part of a mixing and metering unit, wherein one gas supply line has a compressor for ambient air and the at least one additional gas supply line has a metering unit for an auxiliary gas. Upstream of the gas mixer, there is a gas volume flow meter each in each of the gas supply lines. A pressure sensor is arranged in the inspiration line downstream of the gas mixer. The expiration line contains a discharge valve with a pressure sensor arranged upstream of the discharge valve. A central control unit is connected to the compressor, the metering unit, of which there is at least one, to the discharge valve, as well as to the pressure sensors. The gas volume flow meters, and control unit are provided for controlling the breathing pressure and the mixed gas composition after comparison of the signals measured by the pressure sensors as well as by means of the gas volume flow meters with predetermined set points.
14 Claims, 1 Drawing Sheet
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention pertains to a respirator with an inspiration line and an expiration line, which lead to the 5 patient via a connection piece.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Such respirators are used for the artificial respiration of patients, and modern respirators are able to more or less 10 support the patient, depending on his current condition, as a function of his own breathing effort. Depending on the mechanical parameters of the lungs, the volume and flow resistance, a variable volume flow is fed, in general, to the patient in the form of an inspiration gas flow, and the 15 percentage of oxygen can be additionally increased.
CA 2,036,184 Al discloses a breathing system which has an oxygen supply from a pressurized tank and an air supply, as well as a mixing chamber for the two gases, in order to supply from it a downstream inspiration line belonging to it, 20 which leads to the patient. The gas pressure in the supply line to the patient is regulated depending on the patient's measured breathing effort.
Depending on the particular country and on how the 2J hospitals are equipped, the air and oxygen supply of the respirators is ensured either via central gas supply systems or via compressors for air and pressure cylinders for oxygen.
SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a compact respirator which is supplied with ambient air and at the same time makes possible the addition of variable amounts of auxiliary gas from a reservoir under a pressure 3J that is substantially higher than the ambient pressure.
According to the invention, a respirator with an inspiration line and an expiration line is provided which lead to the patient via a connection piece. At least two gas supply lines, which lead to a gas mixer in the inspiration line, are located 40 in a mixing and metering unit. One of these gas supply lines has a compressor for drawing in and compressing ambient air. At least one additional line of the gas supply lines contains a metering unit for metering at least one auxiliary gas fed in, which is under a pressure that is substantially 45 higher than the ambient pressure. One, gas volume flow meter is located in each of the gas supply lines, arranged upstream of the gas mixer. Apressure sensor is located in the inspiration line, arranged downstream of the gas mixer. The expiration line contains a discharge valve with a pressure 50 sensor arranged upstream of the discharge valve. A central control unit is connected to the compressor, to the metering unit, to the discharge valve, as well as to the pressure sensors and to the gas volume flow meters. Means are provided to control the breathing pressure and the mixed gas composi- 55 tion after comparison of the signals measured by means of the pressure sensors as well as by means of the gas volume flow meters with predetermined set points.
The control unit preferably controls the mixed gas volume flow for reaching the preselected pressure level via the 60 metering unit, the compressor and the discharge valve as a function of the values of the gas volume flow currently measured with the gas volume flow meters and of the values of the breathing pressure currently measured with the pressure sensors after comparison with preselected set points. 65
The compressor may be a radial compressor, a Roots blower, a side-channel blower, or a scroll compressor. A
scroll compressor is preferably used. The compressor is preferably combined with a proportional valve arranged directly upstream or downstream of it.
The overall volume flow to the patient as well as the mixing ratio of air to one or more auxiliary gases are preferably set at the central control unit. The compressor and the metering unit are preferably controlled by the control unit after comparison with the volume flows actually measured by means of the gas volume flow meters before the gas mixer in order to reach the set points of the mixing ratio and of the overall volume flow.
The auxiliary gas, of which there is at least one, may be fed in from pressurized gas supply cylinders with pressurereducing valves arranged downstream of them or from a central gas supply system, wherein the gas has an overpressure of about 2.5 to 6 bar. The system may have exactly two gas supply lines, and the auxiliary gas may be oxygen.
One essential advantage of the present invention is based on the fact that due to the independence from a central gas supply system, the respirators according to the present invention can be used in countries and hospitals without a corresponding infrastructure as well as in home therapy or in emergency medicine. The use of separate compressors arranged upstream of the respirator in countries in which hospitals do not have a functioning central gas supply is associated with numerous drawbacks, because limited service life as well as increased power consumption indirectly due to the high pressure must be accepted, besides the increased maintenance cost. It is especially disadvantageous that irregular or incorrect maintenance implies the risk of contamination of or damage to the downstream respirator, e.g., due to the penetration of oil, water or other residues.
The independence from central supply systems can be further increased in the case of electric power supply of the respirator according to the present invention from batteries or cells.
At the core of the present invention is the combination and the arrangement of the characterizing elements of the respirator according to the present invention, which are coordinated with one another such that the device is able to rapidly respond to the spontaneous breathing effort of the patient being subjected to artificial respiration. The rapidity of response of the valves and likewise that of the compressor is particularly important in this connection. The rapidity can be brought about by two alternative embodiments of the compressor. In the first and preferred embodiment, the compressor comprises a scroll housing, which is characterized in that it is able to rapidly deliver the necessary volume flows of air under sufficiently high pressure at a small size. The operating speeds, equaling 1,000 to a maximum of 3,000 rpm, are relatively low. The pressure ratio of the compressor is about 1:1.1. The rotating masses and consequently the mass moment of inertia are low, so that a highly dynamic response pattern is obtained concerning the air volume flow to be delivered. It is thus possible to reach the pneumatic response rates necessary in the case of spontaneous breathing with a scroll blower directly by accelerating the driving electric motor, and the necessary volume flow rates can be set by controlling the speed of the motor.
In an alternative embodiment of the compressor, it is also possible to select a more sluggish drive and to achieve the dynamics of the response by combination with a proportional valve. The proportional valve may be arranged directly downstream of the compressor and it is controlled, like the drive of the compressor, by a central control unit. The drawback of this second variant is that additional
apparatus is needed in the form of a precision proportional valve. In addition, the compressor also must run during expiration because of its sluggish behavior in order to be always ready for delivering a volume of air that may possibly become spontaneously necessary. This leads to increased energy consumption. On the other hand, one advantage of this variant is that a comparatively simple compressor with motor can be used.
The present invention and its mode of operation will be explained by means of the only figure, which schematically shows the design of a respirator according to the present invention with its essential components.
The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and specific objects attained by its uses, reference is made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:
The only FIGURE is a block diagram and schematic representation of the respirator according to the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
Referring to the drawings in particular, the respirator includes a mixing and metering unit 100 and a central control unit 200 which are located in a housing (not shown) of the respirator according to the present invention. The inspiration line 1 leads from the respirator to the patient 3 via a connection piece and, via the expiration line 2, back to the line through which the expired gas is discharged into the environment via the expiration valve 11. The mixing and metering unit 100 has two gas supply lines 12, 13, which lead to a gas mixer 8 in the inspiration line 1. The gas supply line 12, which is the upper line in the figure, contains a compressor 4 for drawing in and compressing ambient air. The compressor 4 with a pressure ratio of about 1:1.1 may be designed as a highly dynamic, electrically driven blower unit, preferably as a scroll compressor, or, as an alternative, as a relatively sluggish compressor driven by an electric motor, combined with a dynamic proportional valve. The inlet pressure at the compressor 4, which is indicated by the arrow, is ambient pressure, which may vary within the range of variations predetermined by the weather, on the one hand, and by the geographic specifications of the site of use, on the other hand. Thus, external pressure variations in a pressure range of about 600 to 1,200 mbar are possible. Additional components, such as a bacteria filter and/or closing elements, which make no change in the general design and are also not shown, may optionally be provided before (upstream of) the compressor 4. The gas supply line 13, which is the lower line in the figure, contains a metering unit 7 for metering at least one auxiliary gas, which is fed in from a gas reservoir in the direction of the arrow under a pressure that is substantially higher than the ambient pressure, wherein this anxiliary gas is preferably oxygen. As an alternative, it would also be possible to provide a plurality of second gas supply lines 13 for different, medically indicated auxiliary gases, e.g., noble gases, such as xenon, or gaseous anesthetics, which would lead to the correspondingly adapted gas mixer 8. The auxiliary gas, preferably oxygen, is obtained, in general, from pressurized gas supply cylinders with pressure-reducing valves arranged down
stream. Connection to a central gas supply system would also be possible, in principle. For worldwide use and for the different, technically possible pressure ranges of central gas supply systems, the auxiliary gas fed in has an overpressure 5 of 2.5 to 6 bar. Both the gas supply line 12 for ambient air, which is the left line in the figure, and the at least one additional gas supply line 13, which is the right line in the figure, for the auxiliary gas or auxiliary gases, which is especially oxygen, contain a gas volume flow meter 16, 17 each before the gas mixer 8, which are connected to the
control unit 200, so that the compressor 4 and the metering unit 7 can be set by the control unit 200 based on the preselected mixing ratio of air to auxiliary gas in order to obtain this preselected mixing ratio. A pressure sensor 9 and optionally a mixed gas sensor 18 are located behind the gas
15 mixer 8 in the direction of flow, and both sensors are directly connected to the control unit 200. The mixed gas sensor 18 is dispensable, because the mixed gas composition can be determined or calculated by the central control unit 200 based on the measured values of the gas volume flow meters
20 16, 17. An additional pressure sensor 10, which is also connected to the control unit 200, is located before the discharge valve 11 in the expiration line 2.
The respirator according to the present invention operates in the following manner: Preselected values for the breath
25 ing pressure, the overall volume flow to the patient, as well as the mixing ratio of air to auxiliary gas(es) are set on the control unit 200. The control unit 200 acts on the compressor 4, the metering unit 7, and the discharge valve 11 as final control elements. The control unit 200 receives measured
30 signals from the gas volume flow meters 16, 17, from the pressure sensors 9, 10, and optionally from the mixed gas sensor 18. As a result of the compressor action and the metering of the auxiliary gas, an inlet-side gas pressure of up to 80 to 100 mbar is reached in the device before the gas mixer 8. To reach this, the ambient air must be compressed
35 to a pressure that is somewhat higher than the breathing pressure, and the pressure of the auxiliary gas must be released to a comparable pressure level via the metering unit 7 from a pressure level that is substantially higher than the ambient pressure. Finally, the air and the auxiliary gas or
40 auxiliary gases are mixed in the gas mixer 8. The mode of operation of the device during respiration is as follows: In the case of spontaneous breathing, the breathing profile that the patient individually requires must be reached by the respirator. To do so, the current pressure level is determined
45 by measuring the breathing pressure at the patient by means of the pressure sensor 10. This pressure is compared with the spontaneous breathing pressure set on the respirator. If the pressure is too low, a mixed gas volume flow, which increases until the required pressure level is reached, is
50 additionally supplied via the metering unit 7 and the compressor 4 corresponding to the set mixing ratio of air to auxiliary gas(es). If, on the other hand, the measured pressure is too high, the volume flow is choked via the compressor 4 and the metering unit 7 until the desired pressure
55 is reached. The discharge valve 11 is controlled depending on the pressure measured by the pressure sensor 9 in the inspiration line 1, and the expired air is released into the environment.
While specific embodiments of the invention have been 60 shown and described in detail to illustrate the application of the principles of the invention, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied otherwise without departing from such principles. What is claimed is: 65 1. A respirator with an inspiration line and an expiration line, which lead to a patient via a connection piece, the respirator comprising: