Assessment of Accuracy of the Vacu-Med 17053 Calibrator for Ventilation, Oxygen Uptake (VO2), and Carbon Dioxide Production (VCO2)

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BACKGROUND: Few have examined the accuracy of mechanical calibrators used to calibrate metabolic monitors. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the Vacu-Med 17053 motorized syringe calibrator for accuracy against the accepted standard method: the Douglas bag. METHODS: We tested oxygen consumption values (VO2) of 522‐3,210 mL/min. We mixed room air and calibration gases in the pumping syringes of the Vacu-Med 17053 and evacuated those gases into a Douglas bag, measured the Douglas bag volumes and concentrations, and converted to pulmonary ventilation, VO2, and carbon dioxide production (VCO2). RESULTS: The Vacu-Med 17053 calibrator overestimated VO2 by a mean 28.6 mL/min (1.3% error), underestimated VCO2 by 6.9 mL/min (−1.7% error), and underestimated pulmonary ventilation by 0.98 L/min (−1.4% error). The VO2 and VCO2 differences between the calibrator and the Douglas bag were larger at higher VO2 levels. CONCLUSIONS: The VO2 andVCO2 differences might be attributable to fluctuations of the calibrator settings. The Vacu-Med 17053 calibrator was accurate with the application of a mathematical correction.

Keywords: calibration; carbon dioxide production; oxygen consumption; pulmonary ventilation; respiratory rate; tidal volume

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Exercise and Sports Science, Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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