‘Boussignac’ continuous positive airway pressure system: practical use in a prehospital medical care unit

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Abstract

Continuous positive airway pressure in acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema is rarely used by prehospital emergency care units, because of the particular technical drawbacks of existing equipment. The aim of this one year prospective descriptive open study without a control group was to assess the technical feasibility of using the Boussignac continuous positive airway pressure system (Vygon) in a prehospital medical care service. Statistical comparisons were performed using Student's t-test or a Wilcoxon T-test. There were 57 decisions to use continuous positive airway pressure. Seven records were excluded. Four patients were intubated on the scene and six within one hour after hospital admission. The respiratory rate and transcutaneous oxygen saturation improved significantly for all of the other patients (Student's t-test P < 0.001). The Boussignac continuous positive airway pressure system has many advantages, including flexibility and pressure monitoring, lower oxygen consumption, and ease of use. These should allow this technique to be used more widely by prehospital teams.

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