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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact communities across the United States, hospitals and other medical facilities are stretching their resources to keep critical systems up and running. Respiratory ventilators and other life-saving devices are in more demand than ever before, and the necessary maintenance and upkeep of this equipment is an all-hands-on-deck situation.
Day-to-day testing and maintenance of respiratory ventilators was once typically performed by respiratory therapists trained to handle most common ventilator procedures. As ventilators continue being critical to the fight against COVID-19, it’s helpful for other hospital staff to have a basic understanding of respiratory ventilator maintenance.
In this article, get tips on a few essential procedures for maintaining your facility’s fleet of Puritan Bennett 840 Respiratory Ventilators, one of the most common ventilator models in hospitals today. I will guide you through performing both short and extended self-tests, replacing an O2 cell and installing a 10K kit. To complete these procedures, you will need: an expiratory filter, an inspiratory filter, a plug, a short circuit tube in soft, pliable silicone, and an adult circuit.
For a guided tutorial on completing the procedures outlined in this article, watch our video on Puritan Bennet 840 Care & Maintenance.
Perform a Short Self-Test (SST)
An SST should be performed between each patient. Before performing an SST, be sure to install the expiratory and inspiratory bacteria filters in place and hook up a standard adult circuit. Make sure you have a plug for blocking the Y during the SST and EST procedures. This will free up your hands to go through the test steps. Once you have your materials in place, begin the SST test by selecting that option and following the prompts.
Perform an Extended Self-Test (EST)
An EST is a much lengthier process than a typical SST and should be performed at least every six months. During an EST, the ventilator goes through a more rigorous testing process where the alarm indicators, LED function, battery, compressor and other key functions are assessed.
Replace an O2 Cell
There are two different methods to replace an O2 cell, depending on the age of the Puritan Bennett 840 unit in your facility. Regardless of the age of your unit, it is crucial to exercise caution when screwing in the O2 cell to your ventilator. The O2 cell has plastic threads and is screwed onto the housing that has metal threads. Be careful not to cross-thread the unit, which can cause leaks.
Install a 10K Kit
Installing a 10K Kit on a Puritan Bennett 840 is a simple procedure. Each kit consists of a spring, a center filter, an oxygen inlet filter and a water trap filter. Whenever you replace one of these kits, be sure to fill out the PM label so the next technician can know when the kit was last serviced.
Matt Cameron is a Biomedical Support Specialist for Avante Health Solutions’ Louisville Center of Excellence. Avante is making it easier and more affordable for every hospital, clinic and medical practice to have the very best equipment, supplies and service. For more information, visit avantehs.com.
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