Hello Hello! I just posted this over in "Vent Families and Users" but thought you guys would have just as much if not more experience with the various ventilation products currently on the market.
I'm looking for some reviews/recommendations of ventilators as I'm shopping around for a new model to suit my lifestyle better. I'll start with a short description of myself:
I'm a fairly active 25 year old guy with a C1/C2 spinal cord injury, paralyzed from the neck down and (obviously) vent dependent. By fairly active I mean going to college full time, working part time, testifying before congress, skydiving, hang gliding, traveling internationally, etc.
I currently use a Puritan-Bennett LP10 ventilator on my wheelchair. I like several of its features such as the Assist/Control setting, which allows me to vary the pressure sensor sensitivity (via a separate dial labeled "Breathing Effort") and in turn initiate breaths above my base setting of 12 during times of increased demand (e.g. conversation, speeches). Another feature, or rather characteristic, that I appreciate is its relative low noise. My main issue, and why I'm shopping around for a replacement, is it's large size and heavy weight (~40lbs.) I would like to keep the features I currently have but shave off atleast half the weight and size. I have a fairly large and long lasting external battery on my chair (which currently lasts ~16 hours on a full charge) so I'm not really concerned about the ventilators internal battery. Noise, weight, size, and speech intelligibility are my biggest concerns. Does anyone have experience with the LTV900 or Newport HT50? Are there any others out there that might meet my requirements?
I would go with the LTV mainly due to size. The HT50 is boxy and not as easy to carry around. I only have limited experience with it so I will hold off on functionality, but it is a much better size and shape for what you are looking for. The Newport is a good vent we use it for transport, but it is boxy and I could see it being difficult to get around with all your activities. Most home vents that I know of around my area is the LTV and they love them (from what I am told). The LTV is also about 3lbs lighter, but going from what you had three pounds is not much different.
I fully agree with light's recommendation. I use the LTv series (950, 1000, and 1200) both in a emergency/critical care facility and for home ventilation. I took care a few years ago of a 42 years hold patient with ASL (Lou Gehrig's disease). He had two vents: one one is wheelchair, and one at bed side. He worked one day a week, visited relatives on a weekly base and went for a two week cruise.
Size, weight, performance, it is all good. However, if you need PEEP (end expiratory pressure), the peep valve is a bit tricky to manipulate.
ps: It always amaze me when I ear about this kind of story (your courage and determination). Somehow, even with 3 childs and two jobs, I am probably a couch potato compare to you...
Thank you both for your quick reply and good advice! I have been eying the LTV's for some time now, and would have already gone with one of their models except that a respiratory therapist friend of mine warned me of a few issues he's had with them in the past. He told me I would only have around 4-6 hours of use in my chair before having to plug it in due to their large power requirement (which I find hard to believe as my LP10 lasts for 16 hours or more). Renton, how long was the gentleman with ALS able to use his LTV before running out of juice? Also, how loud is the LTV series in general? I use a PEEP setting of 5. Would you briefly explain what you mean by "tricky?" Is it difficult to set and keep set?
I agree with Light. The LTV is a nice small unit.
A few years back I had a patient that was on the LTV and we were able to get her on to use a pneumobelt in conjunction with the LTV and she did not require a tracheostomy tube.
Good Luck to you.
The LTV is light and is a good vent. There is a more limited battery on it though. Our facility uses LP10's and LTV's and the LP10 vent battery does run much longer. You could, however invest in a second battery. Both batteries together probably still does not weigh as much as the marine battery that power an LP10.Hope this helps
Sorry for the delay...
That patient bought several external power packs ($$$...) that enable him to go for the whole day. Plus, he caried around his "converter" and plug in every chance he got.
Battery is an issue even in critical care. I NEVER realy only on the internal battery.
As far as sound is concerned... I never noticed!! It never occured to me that it could be a reason to buy (or not to buy, that is the question...). It is a flow generating unit, thus louder that any pneumatic vent. I never worked with the LPs.
The peep valve is external and needs both hands to ajust it. A lot of our valve were broken by RRT , just by trying to ajust the d.... thing.You need to push one end and turn the other.
But in your case, you would only to ajust it once.
Have you looked at the LTV 1200 it has multiple great modes along with assist control, and is about the size of a lap top computer.(3"x10"x12" or 3.25"x10.5"x13.5" with protective boot installed. It waeighs about 13.4 lbs. We currently use it on our transport team for patients 5kg and larger and our patients do very well. We fly rotor and fixed wing with it along with ground trips so I feel it would be very versitile for your active lifestyle. It has some new bells and whistles that the older models do not. The LTV1200 has an internal peep so you don't have to worry about the tricky issues with the old external valve. They also have a lithium battery available for the units that are very light in weight and small.
I'm starting to see the Legondaire more often now. It's smaller and quiter than the LTV. I don't know what the price differance is though. the internal battery lasts about 5 hours and it has various vent modes and wave forms.