Programmable Pneumatic Generator for Manipulation of Intrathoracic Pressure

Henry R. Halperin, Joshua E. Tsitlik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The determination that blood can move during cardiopulmonary resuscitation because of imposed changes in intrathoracic pressure has led to the construction and testing of mechanical devices for increasing intrathoracic pressure fluctuations over those obtained by manual means. These mechanical systems have required high-pressure ventilation simultaneous with compression of the chest to augment blood flow. Their usefulness has been limited, however, because of the requirement for endotracheal intubation and complex devices. Similar systems have also been used to generate intrathoracic pressure changes timed to the cardiac cycle to aid the failing, but beating, heart. A system was developed that can produce high intrathoracic pressure without simultaneous ventilation by using a vest that is placed around the thorax. The vest contains a bladder that is rapidly inflated and deflated by the programmable pneumatic generator. Air flows into and out of the bladder by the proper sequencing of large-bore three-way and two-way solenoid valves that are connected in series. A microcomputer-based controller is used to sequence the valves. The programmable pneumatic generator inflates the bladder more rapidly and to higher pressures than previous systems. The programmable pneumatic generator has been used in studies of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (heart arrested) and circulatory assistance (heart beating, but function depressed).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-742
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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