How to Clean Large Animal Ventilator Bellows: A Step-by-Step Guide


Animal ventilators are a crucial piece of equipment used to support breathing in large animals during surgery or other medical procedures. It is essential to keep these machines clean and well-maintained to ensure they are functioning properly and to avoid any potential damage. In this article, we will discuss the proper method for cleaning the large animal ventilator bellows, as explained by Doug Mueller in the video.


Step 1: Prepare the Cleaning Solution

The first step in cleaning the bellows is to prepare a cleaning solution. This solution should be a mixture of three parts water to one-part white vinegar. Fill a container with five liters of this mixture.


Step 2: Pour the Solution into the Bellows

Detach the hose from the elbow of the Absorber and pour the cleaning solution into it. Once the solution is in the bellows reattach the hose coupler to the Absorber elbow. Grab the blue bellows rod and gently agitate it by pulling it up and down for a few minutes and then Let the solution soak for 20 minutes.


Step 3: Rinse and Drain the Bellows

After 20 minutes, drain the bellows and then rinse the bellows with clean water and drain it. Drain them by removing the hose coupler from the elbow and lay it on the floor to drain and when drying. You can agitate the bellows some more to rinse out any remaining vinegar solution. Once the bellows are drained, repeat the process of rinsing/draining with clean water.


Step 4: Dry the Bellows

It is crucial to dry the bellows after cleaning them. To do this, pull the bellows up to the top position and secure it in place using a hose or rod clamp. Allow the bellows to air dry until the next surgery or use. It is important to note that the bellows should never be left on the rod while the machine is running, as this could result in damage to the bellows rod or other components.


Step 5: Disinfectants (Optional)

In cases where a sick animal is being treated or you want to avoid contamination to the next patient using the same ventilator, a disinfectant can be used. The manual for the ventilator will list recommended disinfectants and the manufacturer's specifications for their use. However, it is important to use only approved chemicals in the system as described in the manual.



In conclusion, cleaning the large animal ventilator bellows is a straightforward process that involves preparing a cleaning solution, pouring it into the bellows, rinsing and draining the bellows, and allowing it to air dry. It is important to follow these steps carefully to ensure the proper functioning of the machine and to avoid any potential damage. If you have any questions or concerns about cleaning the bellows, refer to the manual or contact the manufacturer for further assistance.

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