Errors in Pneumotachography with Intermittent Positive Pressure Ventilation Academic Article uri icon

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  • Instrument errors that can occur when pneumotachography is used during Intermittent Positive Pressure Ventilation (IPPV) have been described previously (Kafer 1973). Our efforts to eliminate these errors led to the discovery of further inaccuracies, which appear to be due to the design of the differential pressure transducers used with the pneumotachograph head. A system was used in which a sine-wave pump delivered a constant tidal volume to a dummy lung, the tidal volume being measured by means of a pneumotachograph. Using Grass, Statham and Devices differential pressure transducers, the volume recorded as leaving the dummy lung was consistently greater than that recorded as entering, and changing the pneumatic polarity of the differential pressure transducer produced large differences in the recorded volume. In some cases the error was greater than the volume being measured. There would seem to be several causes of such errors. The Sanborn 270 differential pressure transducer and the Greer micromanometer appeared to be free of these artifacts. The results of this study throw into doubt much previously published work using pneumotachography during IPPV.


  • Abrahams, N
  • Fisk, GC
  • Churches, AE
  • Loughman, J
  • Vonwiller, JB
  • Agzarian, John
  • Harrison, GA

publication date

  • November 1975