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  • 1.
    Andersson, Nina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Grip, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Lindvall, Peter
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Koskinen, Lars-Owe D
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Brändström, Helge
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Malm, Jan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Eklund, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Air transport of patients with intracranial air: computer model of pressure effects2003In: Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, ISSN 0095-6562, E-ISSN 1943-4448, Vol. 74, no 2, p. 138-144Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Brändstrom, H.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Rydvall, A.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Stegmayr, B.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Söderberg-Svanström, J.
    Wikdahl, A. M.
    [A killer bacteria caused fasciitis with sepsis. Prompt handling saved the patient's life]1996In: Lakartidningen, Vol. 93, no 42, p. 3687-9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    The article consists in a case report of a patient with rapidly progressive pain in the axillary region and deterioration in his clinical condition during the course of a skin infection, found to have pectoral muscle fascitis, and in whom progressive septic shock was accompanied by multiorgan failure. Blood culture yielded streptococci group A type 1 M1. In addition to conventional intensive care, he was treated with antibiotics, inotropic drugs, plasma exchange, and infusion of antithrombin and immunoglobulin. Surgical intervention such as fasciotomy was avoided initially and later proved unnecessary as the patient recovered well.

  • 3.
    Brändström, Helge
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Accidental hypothermia and local cold injury: physiological and epidemiological studies on risk2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: (Papers I and II) The objectives were to first determine incidence and contributing factors to cold-related injuries in northern Sweden, both those that led to hospitalization and those that led to fatality.  (Papers III and IV) A further aim was to assess post-cooling hand-rewarming responses and effects of training in a cold environment, both on fingertip rewarming and on function of the autonomic nervous system, to evaluate if there was adaptation related to prolonged occupational cold exposure.

    Methods:  In a retrospective analysis, cases of accidental cold-related injury with hospital admission in northern Sweden during 2000-2007 were analyzed (Paper I).  Cases of fatal hypothermia in the same region during 1992-2008 were analyzed (Paper II).  A cohort of volunteers was studied before and after many months of occupational cold exposure. Subject hand rewarming response was measured after a cold hand immersion provocation and categorized as slow, moderate or normal in rewarming speed.  This cold provocation and rewarming assessment was performed before and after their winter training.  (Paper III).  Heart rate variability (HRV) was analyzed from the same cold provocation/recovery sequences (Paper IV).

    Results:  (Paper I) For the 379 cases of hospitalization for cold-related injury, annual incidences for hypothermia, frostbite, and drowning were 3.4/100,000, 1.5/100,000, and 1.0/100,000 inhabitants, respectively.  Male gender was more frequent for all categories.  Annual frequencies for hypothermia hospitalizations increased during the study period.  Hypothermia degree and distribution of cases were 20 % mild (between 32 and 35ºC), 40% moderate (31.9 to 28ºC), and 24% severe (< 28ºC), while 12% had temperatures over 35.0ºC.  (Paper II) The 207 cases of fatal hypothermia showed an annual incidence of 1.35 per 100,000 inhabitants, 72% in rural areas, 93% outdoors, 40% found within 100 meters of a building.  Paradoxical undressing was documented in 30%.  Ethanol was detected in femoral vein blood in 43%. Contributing co-morbidity was common including heart disease, previous stroke, dementia, psychiatric disease, alcoholism, and recent trauma.  (Paper III) Post-training, baseline fingertip temperatures and cold recovery variables in terms of final rewarming fingertip temperature and vasodilation time increased significantly in moderate and slow rewarmers.  Cold-related injury (frostbite) during winter training occured disproportionately more often in slow rewarmers (4 of the 5 injuries).  (Paper IV) At ‘pre- winter-training’, normal rewarmers had higher power for low frequency and high frequency heart rate variability.  After cold acclimatization (post-training), normal rewarmers showed lower resting power values for the low frequency and high frequency heart rate variability components. 

    Conclusions: Hypothermia and cold injury continues to cause injury and hospitalization in the northern region of Sweden.  Assessment and management is not standardized across hospitals.  With the identification of groups at high risk for fatal hypothermia, it should be possible to reduce the incidence, particularly for highest risk subjects; rural, living alone, alcohol-imbibing, and psychiatric diagnosis-carrying citizens.  Long-term cold-weather training may affect hand rewarming patters after a cold provocation, and a warmer baseline hand temperature with faster rewarming after a cold provocation may be associated with less general risk for frostbite.  Heart rate variability results support the conclusion that cold adaptation in the autonomic nervous system occurred in both groups, though the biological significance of this is not yet clear.

  • 4.
    Brändström, Helge
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Eriksson, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Forensic Medicine.
    Giesbrecht, Gordon
    University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. Dep of Anesthesia.
    Ängquist, Karl-Axel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Haney, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Fatal hypothermia: an analysis from a sub-arctic region2012In: International Journal of Circumpolar Health, ISSN 1239-9736, E-ISSN 2242-3982, Vol. 71, no 0, p. 1-7Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives. To determine the incidence as well as contributing factors to fatal hypothermia.

    Study design. Retrospective, registry-based analysis.

    Methods. Cases of fatal hypothermia were identified in the database of the National Board of Forensic Medicine for the 4 northernmost counties of Sweden and for the study period 1992-2008. Police reports, medical records and autopsy protocols were studied.

    Results. A total of 207 cases of fatal hypothermia were noted during the study period, giving an annual incidence of 1.35 per 100,000 inhabitants. Seventy-two percent occurred in rural areas, and 93% outdoors. Many (40%) were found within approximately 100 meters of a building. The majority (75%) occurred during the colder season (October to March). Some degree of paradoxical undressing was documented in 30%. Ethanol was detected in femoral vein blood in 43% of the victims. Contributing co-morbidity was common and included heart disease, earlier stroke, dementia, psychiatric disease, alcoholism, and recent trauma.

    Conclusions. With the identification of groups at high risk for fatal hypothermia, it should be possible to reduce risk through thoughtful interventions, particularly related to the highest risk subjects (rural, living alone, alcohol-imbibing, and psychiatric diagnosis-carrying) citizens.

  • 5.
    Brändström, Helge
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Giesbrecht, Gordon
    Winsö, Ola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Ängquist, Karl-Axel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Haney, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Accidental cold-related injury leading to hospitalization in northern Sweden (2000-2007)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Brändström, Helge
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Grip, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics.
    Hallberg, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Physics (CMTF).
    Grönlund, Christer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics.
    Ängquist, Karl-Axel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Giesbrecht, Gordon G
    Hand cold recovery responses before and after 15 months of military training in a cold climate2008In: Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, ISSN 0095-6562, E-ISSN 1943-4448, Vol. 79, no 9, p. 904-908Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION: The ability of fingers to rapidly rewarm following cold exposure is a possible indicator of cold injury protection. We categorized the post-cooling hand-rewarming responses of men before and after participation in 15 mo of military training in a cold environment in northern Sweden to determine: 1) if the initial rewarming category was related to the occurrence of local cold injury during training; and 2) if cold training affected subsequent hand-rewarming responses. METHODS: Immersion of the dominant hand in 10 degrees C water for 10 min was performed pre-training on 77 men. Of those, 45 were available for successful post-training retests. Infrared thermography monitored the dorsal hand during 30 min of recovery. Rewarming was categorized as normal, moderate, or slow based on mean fingertip temperature at the end of 30 min of recovery (TFinger,30) and the percentage of time that fingertips were vasodilated (%VD). RESULTS: Cold injury occurrence during training was disproportionately higher in the slow rewarmers (four of the five injuries). Post-training, baseline fingertip temperatures and cold recovery variables increased significantly in moderate and slow rewarmers: TFinger30 increased from 21.9 +/- 4 to 30.4 +/- 6 degrees C (Moderate), and from 17.4 +/- 0 to 22.3 +/- 7 degrees C (Slow); %VD increased from 27.5 +/- 16 to 65.9 +/- 34% (Moderate), and from 0.7 +/- 2 to 31.7 +/- 44% (Slow). CONCLUSIONS: Results of the cold recovery test were related to the occurrence of local cold injury during long-term cold-weather training. Cold training itself improved baseline and cold recovery in moderate and slow rewarmers.

  • 7.
    Brändström, Helge
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Johansson, Göran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Giesbrecht, Gordon G.
    Kinesiology and Recreation Management, and Anesthesia, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.
    Ängquist, Karl-Axel
    Emergency and Disaster Medical Center, Umeå University Hospital, Sweden.
    Haney, Michael F.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Accidental cold-related injury leading to hospitalization in northern Sweden: an eight-year retrospective analysis2014In: Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, ISSN 1757-7241, E-ISSN 1757-7241, Vol. 22, p. 6-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Cold injuries are rare but important causes of hospitalization. We aimed to identify the magnitude of cold injury hospitalization, and assess causes, associated factors and treatment routines in a subarctic region. Methods: In this retrospective analysis of hospital records from the 4 northernmost counties in Sweden, cases from 2000-2007 were identified from the hospital registry by diagnosis codes for accidental hypothermia, frostbite, and cold-water drowning.Results were analyzed for pre-hospital site events, clinical events in-hospital, and complications observed with mild (temperature 34.9 - 32 degrees C), moderate (31.9 - 28 degrees C) and severe (<28 degrees C), hypothermia as well as for frostbite and cold-water drowning. Results: From the 362 cases, average annual incidences for hypothermia, frostbite, and cold-water drowning were estimated to be 3.4/100 000, 1.5/100 000, and 0.8/100 000 inhabitants, respectively. Annual frequencies for hypothermia hospitalizations increased by approximately 3 cases/year during the study period. Twenty percent of the hypothermia cases were mild, 40% moderate, and 24% severe. For 12%, the lowest documented core temperature was 35 degrees C or higher, for 4% there was no temperature documented. Body core temperature was seldom measured in pre-hospital locations. Of 362 cold injury admissions, 17 (5%) died in hospital related to their injuries. Associated co-factors and co-morbidities included ethanol consumption, dementia, and psychiatric diagnosis. Conclusions: The incidence of accidental hypothermia seems to be increasing in this studied sub-arctic region. Likely associated factors are recognized (ethanol intake, dementia, and psychiatric diagnosis).

  • 8.
    Brändström, Helge
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Sedig, Karin
    Lundälv, Jörgen
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    KAMEDO report no. 77: sinking of the MS Sleipner, 26 November 19992006In: Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, ISSN 1049-023X, Vol. 21, no 2 Suppl 2, p. 115-116Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Brändström, Helge
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Sundelin, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Hoseason, Daniela
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Sundström, Nina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences.
    Birgander, Richard
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Diagnostic Radiology.
    Johansson, Göran
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Winsö, Ola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Koskinen, Lars-Owe
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical Neuroscience.
    Haney, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Risk for intracranial pressure increase related to enclosed air in post-craniotomy patients during air ambulance transport: a retrospective cohort study with simulation2017In: Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, ISSN 1757-7241, E-ISSN 1757-7241, Vol. 25, article id 50Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Post-craniotomy intracranial air can be present in patients scheduled for air ambulance transport to their home hospital. We aimed to assess risk for in-flight intracranial pressure (ICP) increases related to observed intracranial air volumes, hypothetical sea level pre-transport ICP, and different potential flight levels and cabin pressures. METHODS: A cohort of consecutive subdural hematoma evacuation patients from one University Medical Centre was assessed with post-operative intracranial air volume measurements by computed tomography. Intracranial pressure changes related to estimated intracranial air volume effects of changing atmospheric pressure (simulating flight and cabin pressure changes up to 8000 ft) were simulated using an established model for intracranial pressure and volume relations. RESULTS: Approximately one third of the cohort had post-operative intracranial air. Of these, approximately one third had intracranial air volumes less than 11 ml. The simulation estimated that the expected changes in intracranial pressure during 'flight' would not result in intracranial hypertension. For intracranial air volumes above 11 ml, the simulation suggested that it was possible that intracranial hypertension could develop 'inflight' related to cabin pressure drop. Depending on the pre-flight intracranial pressure and air volume, this could occur quite early during the assent phase in the flight profile. DISCUSSION: These findings support the idea that there should be radiographic verification of the presence or absence of intracranial air after craniotomy for patients planned for long distance air transport. CONCLUSIONS: Very small amounts of air are clinically inconsequential. Otherwise, air transport with maintained ground-level cabin pressure should be a priority for these patients.

  • 10.
    Brändström, Helge
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Wiklund, Urban
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics.
    Karlsson, Marcus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics.
    Ängquist, Karl-Axel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Surgery.
    Grip, Helena
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics.
    Haney, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Autonomic nerve system responses for normal and slow rewarmers after hand cold provocation: effects of long-term cold climate training2013In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 86, no 3, p. 357-365Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    PURPOSE: Differences among individuals concerning susceptibility to local cold injury following acute cold exposure may be related to function of the autonomic nervous system. We hypothesized that there are differences in heart rate variability (HRV) between individuals with normal or more pronounced vasoconstriction following cold exposure and that there is an adaptation related to prolonged cold exposure in autonomic nervous system response to cold stimuli.

    METHODS: Seventy-seven young men performed a cold provocation test, where HRV was recorded during cold hand immersion and recovery. Forty-three subjects were re-examined 15 months later, with many months of cold weather training between the tests. Subjects were analyzed as 'slow' and 'normal' rewarmers according to their thermographic rewarming pattern.

    RESULTS: For the 'pre-training' test, before cold climate exposure, normal rewarmers had higher power for low-frequency (P(LF)) and high-frequency (P(HF)) HRV components during the cold provocation test (ANOVA for groups: p = 0.04 and p = 0.005, respectively). There was an approximately 25 % higher P(HF) at the start in normal rewarmers, in the logarithmic scale. Low frequency-to-high frequency ratio (P(LF)/P(HF)) showed lower levels for normal rewarmers (ANOVA for groups: p = 0.04). During the 'post-training' cold provocation test, both groups lacked the marked increase in heart rate that occurred during cold exposure at the 'pre-training' setting. After cold acclimatization (post-training), normal rewarmers showed lower resting power values for the low-frequency and high-frequency HRV components. After winter training, the slow rewarmers showed reduced low-frequency power for some of the cold provocation measurements but not all (average total P(LF), ANOVA p = 0.05), which was not present before winter training.

    CONCLUSIONS: These HRV results support the conclusion that cold adaptation occurred in both groups. We conclude that further prospective study is needed to determine whether cold adaptation provides protection to subjects at higher risk for cold injury, that is, slow rewarmers.

  • 11.
    Brändström, Helge
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Winsö, Ola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Haney, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Regional intensive care transports: a prospective analysis of distance, time and cost for road, helicopter and fixed-wing ambulances2014In: Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, ISSN 1757-7241, E-ISSN 1757-7241, Vol. 22, p. 36-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: There are three different types of ambulance systems, all of which can manage the same secondary intensive care patient transport mission: road ambulance, rotor-wing ambulance, and fixed-wing ambulance. We hypothesized that costs for specific transport distances would differ between systems. We aimed to analyze distances and observed times for ambulance intensive care secondary transport missions together with system costs to assess this. Methods: We prospectively collected data for consecutive urgent intensive care transports into the regional tertiary care hospital in the northern region of Sweden. Distances and transport times were gathered, and a cost model was generated based on these together with fixed and operating costs from the three different ambulance systems. Distance-cost and time-cost estimations were then generated for each transport system. Results: Road ambulance cost relatively less for shorter distances (within 250 kilometers/155 miles) but were relatively time ineffective. The rotor-wing systems were most expensive regardless of distance; but were most time-effective up to 400-500 km (248-310 miles). Fixed-wing systems were more cost-effective for longer distance (300 km/186 miles), and time effective for transports over 500 km (310 miles). Conclusions: In summary, based on an economic model developed from observed regional ICU patient transports, and cost estimations, different ambulance system cost-distances could be compared. Distance-cost and time results show that helicopters can be effective up to moderate ICU transport distances (400-500), though are expensive to operate. For longer ICU patient transports, fixed-wing transport systems are both cost and time effective compared to helicopter-based systems.

  • 12.
    Löfqvist, Erika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Oskarsson, Åsa
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Brändström, Helge
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Vuorio, Alpo
    Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.
    Haney, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
    Evacuation preparedness in the event of fire in intensive care units in Sweden: more is needed2017In: Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, ISSN 1049-023X, E-ISSN 1945-1938, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 317-320Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Hospitals, including intensive care units (ICUs), can be subject to threat from fire and require urgent evacuation. Hypothesis: The hypothesis was that the current preparedness for ICU evacuation for fire in the national public hospital system in a wealthy country was very good, using Sweden as model. Methods: An already validated questionnaire for this purpose was adapted to national/local circumstances and translated into Swedish. It aimed to elicit information concerning fire response planning, personnel education, training, and exercises. Questionnaire results (yes/no answers) were collected and answers collated to assess grouped responses. Frequencies of responses were determined. Results: While a written hospital plan for fire response and evacuation was noted by all responders, personnel familiarity with the plan was less frequent. Deficiencies were reported concerning all categories: lack of written fire response plan for ICU, lack of personnel education in this, and lack of practical exercises to practice urgent evacuation in the event of fire. Conclusions: These findings were interpreted as an indication of risk for worse consequences for patients in the event of fire and ICU evacuation among the hospitals in the country that was assessed, despite clear regulations and requirements for these. The exact reasons for this lack of compliance with existing laws was not clear, though there are many possible explanations. To remedy this, more attention is needed concerning recognizing risk related to lack of preparedness. Where there exists a goal of high-quality work in the ICU, this should include general leadership and medical staff preparedness in the event of urgent ICU evacuation.

  • 13.
    Sehlin, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy. Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics.
    Brändström, Helge
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Winsö, Ola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Haney, Michael
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Anaesthesiology.
    Wadell, Karin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy.
    Öhberg, Fredrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiation Sciences, Radiation Physics.
    Simulated flying altitude and performance of continuous positive airway pressure devices2014In: Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, ISSN 0095-6562, E-ISSN 1943-4448, Vol. 85, no 11, p. 1092-1099Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    INTRODUCTION: Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is used in air ambulances to treat patients with impaired oxygenation. Differences in mechanical principles between CPAP devices may affect their performance at different ambient air pressures as will occur in an air ambulance during flight. METHODS: Two different CPAP systems, a threshold resistor device and a flow resistor device, at settings 5 and 10 cm H2O were examined. Static pressure, static airflow and pressure during simulated breathing were measured at ground level and at three different altitudes (2400 m (8 kft), 3000 m (10 kft) and 10700 m (35 kft)). RESULTS: When altitude increased, the performance of the two CPAP systems differed during both static and simulated breathing pressure measurements. With the threshold resistor CPAP, measured pressure levels were close to the preset CPAP level. Static pressure decreased 0.71 ± 0.35 cm H2O, at CPAP 10 cm H2O, comparing ground level and 35 kft. With the flow resistor CPAP, as the altitude increased CPAP produced pressure levels increased. At 35 kft, the increase was 5.13 ± 0.33 cm H2O at CPAP 10 cm H2O. DISCUSSION: The velocity of airflow through the flow resistor CPAP device is strongly influenced by reduced ambient air pressure leading to a higher delivered CPAP effect than the preset CPAP level. Threshold resistor CPAP devices seem to have robust performance regardless of altitude. Thus, the threshold resistor CPAP device is probably more appropriate for CPAP treatment in an air ambulance cabin, where ambient pressure will vary during patient transport.

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