The Trilogy 100 is a portable volume and pressure support ventilator with BiPAP technology with a simplified user interface that provides invasive and noninvasive ventilation within and outside of the home. It can be used for infants weighing over 11 pounds and up to adults.
The Trilogy 100 is the ideal portable ventilator weighing only 11 pounds with small dimensions of 6.6 inches long, 11.2 inches wide, and 9.3 inches high. An optional accessory is a travel bag that can be used to carry the ventilator while in use which makes it even easier to transport.
While the compact size of this ventilator is great for portability, I find that the shape of it is a little bit too tall and can tip over easily if not tied down. Also, the airflow vents are underneath the bottom of the machine, so they always need a clear pathway for the air to travel — I would have preferred it be in the back where ventilation is not usually a problem. It does have feet that raise the ventilator up about an inch for the airflow and it is simple enough to stay clear but it is another thing that needs to be remembered when deciding where to place the ventilator, be it a table, hung from a wheelchair, or in a wheelchair vent tray.
Multiple Power Sources
Trilogy 100 allows for many different power sources including AC (120 volts), an internal 3-hour battery, a detachable 3-hour battery, and an optional adapter for an external 12-volt battery, which generally lasts over 12 hours when fully charged. It has an internal charger for the two 3-hour batteries that charges the batteries continuously while the ventilator is operating on AC power. A separate charger from any manufacturer needs to be purchased for 12-volt batteries.
This ventilator offers enough backup power on its own to allow for short trips outside. Longer trips should be done with one or two external 12-volt batteries. It is also great for power outages because it automatically switches to the backup power. The AC is the primary power source and if it is interrupted and an external 12-volt battery is attached, the ventilator will automatically switch to the 12-volt battery and, if that should run out of power, it will switch to the detachable 3-hour battery, and finally the 3-hour internal battery.
The 12-volt external battery feature requires a special adapter to be purchased from the manufacturer (I would think it would be included). One end of the adapter goes into a port that is separate from the AC power, so both can be plugged in at the same time in case of power outages. The other end of the adapter has o-ring posts that get screwed onto the positive and negative terminals of the battery provided the battery has terminals with holes in them. Being that the adapter needs to be screwed onto the batteries is a good thing because they will not accidentally become disconnected but, at the same time, they are cumbersome when in a hurry to switch to another battery. Alligator clips could be attached if the posts are cut off but then it would be a breach of the warranty. I suppose that the benefits outweigh the negatives.
In over a year of using the same Trilogy 100 ventilator, I have not had any problems with the power sources switching during power outages or outside use. This has been a lifesaver and offers me a piece of mind knowing that there is always a backup power source and especially one that automatically switches to auxiliary power.
Display & Controls
The display is a large LCD screen with intuitive menus that are easy to read and navigate with simple menus for patients and caregivers and advanced menus for clinicians to quickly access device settings and patient information.
Other ventilators have several bright and flashing lights that can be distracting when trying to sleep next to them. The Trilogy 100 has a screensaver that can be set to various inactive periods of time. The amount of information displayed in screensaver mode and the dimness of the screen in this mode can be customized in the settings. A simple press of the power button will get you out of screensaver mode instantly.
The Trilogy 100 only has 6 buttons on the front panel to control everything that the ventilator can do. The 2 buttons on the right-hand side of the display are only used to reset the alarm and the other button is for the power. The other 4 buttons beneath the display are used to control the functions of the screen: the left or right buttons control commands that change on the screen intuitively and the 2 middle buttons are used to scroll through the menu items on the screen at various times.
A simple press of the power button is required to turn the ventilator on. Turning it off requires 2 or 3 presses: one press of the power button to bring the screen back if it is in screensaver mode, another press of the power button to bring up a confirmation window on the display which asks yes or no, and a final press of one of the buttons below the screen to confirm the user’s desire to turn it off. Requiring more than one button press to turn the ventilator off is good because it cannot be accidentally turned off easily but is a little annoying if you need to turn it on and off a few times in a row for things like washing your hair and putting it back on for a breath.
The simplicity of the buttons is both a positive and a negative. Everything is simplified compared to other ventilators which is a positive. At the same time, they make it difficult to know where each button will take you at any given moment and it is also difficult for me to describe how to navigate the menus to my caregivers. It is a good thing that only my respiratory therapist can change the settings; caregivers can check the settings but are unable to change the important ones.
As I said before, only my respiratory therapist can change the Trilogy 100 settings. The ventilator has a feature that locks most of the important settings on the menu so that no one can accidentally or purposely change any of the settings. A password must be entered in order to change the settings but the settings can still be viewed by anyone. I always have my respiratory therapist lock as much of the settings as possible because it gives me a great peace of mind to know that no one can change the settings without me or my respiratory therapist’s request to do so with a doctor’s permission.
Circuit and Mode Options
The passive exhalation porting block allows for a single connection to a BiPAP circuit or a mask with an integrated leak. The active exhalation porting block allows for a single limb circuit with proximal pressure line and an internal PEEP. Both options are compatible with pressure and volume ventilation modes.
Trilogy 100 is very versatile with controls for many different circuits and modes including circuit types (Active with PAP, passive), ventilation types (Volume control, pressure control, bi-level), volume modes (AC, SIMV (w/PS), CV), and pressure modes (CPAP, S, S/T, T, PC-SIMV (w/PS)).
The Trilogy 100 has a slot for a SD memory card to store ventilation data and prescription management. The card can be removed and accessed by a computer using the DirectView ventilation data management software. This allows clinicians and respiratory therapists to easily access a lot of information easily on a computer without the need to disrupt patients.
All ventilators are considered life support by insurance companies and as such they are required to have a number of audible alarms and the Trilogy 100 is no exception. It has alarms for Circuit disconnect, Apnea, High tidal volume, Low tidal volume, High minute ventilation, Low minute ventilation, High respiratory rate, and Low respiratory rate.
What makes the Trilogy 100 perfect for me is the ability for the respiratory therapists to turn off as many alarms as possible. There are only a few alarms that cannot be turned off but they are the important ones to me. I believe every alarm is turned off on my machine except for the circuit disconnect and possibly the low tidal volume. I don’t have any problem with my breathing that would cause the other alarms to go off for anything serious.
Other ventilators force the user to have most of the alarms turned on and that is one of the reasons why I never used a real ventilator (as opposed to a BiPAP) because it would set off every alarm at the slightest change in my breathing — even if I talked while using the ventilator the alarms would be set off. No one in my house, including me, could get much rest with the alarms going off every few minutes.
I believe the reason we are able to turn the alarms off is because of the Trilogy 100 is in BiPAP mode; most of the alarms are still required if the ventilator mode is used. In all actuality, I always prefer the way BiPAP machines allow me to take breaths when I want to without all of the alarms but, since BiPAP machines are not considered life support, manufacturers are not required to install backup power sources within the machine and I like backup power sources. Also, in order to get a nurse, I had to be on a ventilator that is considered life support. Luckily my respiratory therapist learned of the Trilogy 100 in the nick of time for a nurse and gave me the best of both worlds: a ventilator that is considered life support with backup power sources and the ability to act like a BiPAP.
The Trilogy 100 is the quietest ventilator I have ever used. Another reason for my not wanting to use ventilators in the past is because they were so loud that they sounded like helicopters taking off. How do doctors and manufacturers expect patients to sleep next to a machine as loud as a vacuum cleaner? I was surprised when I first turned the Trilogy 100 on and it was whisper quiet, almost exactly as quiet as a BiPAP. I can finally use a ventilator and be able to sleep next to it!
While a quiet ventilator is a great thing, the alarms need to be the opposite and sound as loud as they can be so caregivers can hear them if they are in another room. There is a volume control for the alarms that can be turned up very loud are down to an acceptable level but never completely off. The alarm is very loud when it goes off as it should be, so it allows me to feel safer knowing that help will be alerted that something is wrong and caregivers can quickly come and fix the problem.
The alarms can also be connected to a remote system for monitoring in another room. This is great for hospitals and in the home because the patient has privacy without someone being required to be in the same room to monitor the ventilator.
I have been using the same exact Trilogy 100 for a little over one year without a problem. The menu lock, backup power sources, and loud alarms all give me a sense of security and safety allowing my caregivers, family, and me to not worry about power outages, accidentally changing settings, and not hearing the alarms. At the same time, it offers a portable ventilator that acts as a BiPAP while maintaining the level of life support that does not interfere as much with my life. I highly recommend patients, caregivers, doctors, and respiratory therapists involved with the use of ventilators to try the Trilogy 100 and see if it suits your needs better than other ventilators. [Note that there is now a Trilogy 200 on the market with even more features.]
Source: Philips Respironics