In the last blog entry, I expressed my belief that the Venti-Breather® was perhaps the commercial version of the Roswell Park Rescue Breathing Mask (sic) designed by James O. Elam. I was wrong. I worked from a contemporary faulty memory. The reference that I had ordered arrived well after the posting.
In the chapter “Insufflation Methods with Simple Equipment” written by Dr. Elam in the book Artificial Respiration Theory and Applications by Fifteen Authors, edited by James L. Whittenberger, M.D., Elam describes and illustrates the differences between the two devices (which, in fact, are quite similar but for the design of the valve).
The Venti-Breather® has a spring-loaded diving-bell shaped occluder that opens under positive pressure for rescue breaths, then pops up to permit exhalation or spontaneous breaths through the expiratory port.
The Roswell Park Pocket Mask has but one moving part in its dog-legged blow-pipe: a delicately balanced weighted ball that moves aside for positive pressure to let air in or to pass outwards.
Elam’s references include:
"1. Elam, J. O. Rescue Breathing with the Roswell Park Pocket Mask, The Roswell Park Handbook for Training in Rescue Breathing. Buffalo. Health Research Press, 1959."
which could seem most likely to be the product insert for the device.
I also referred to Gordon’s device as the Gordon Airway; Elam, also a colleague of Gordon calls it the Gordon Rescue Breather, although Bauer also calls it “the Gordon airway.”
There are several relevant illustrations to be seen in the book, which, unfortunately, is out of print. It is an exceptional reference for its era, and is often cited by others. I cannot reproduce the illustrations here, but it is definitely worth going out of your way to read.
Artificial Respiration Theory and Applications by Fifteen Authors, edited by James L. Whittenberger, M.D. ©Hoeber Medical Division, Harper & Row, Publishers, Incorporated. New York.
Library of Congress Catalog card number: 62-18205
Bauer, Robert O. Emergency Airway, Ventilation, and Cardiac Resuscitation
Anesth Prog. 1967 November; 14(9): 236–249. PMCID: PMC2235452
Tom Trimble, RN CEN
All opinions are those of the author.