Reservoir Bag

The reservoir bag is also called as the Breathing bag. The bag is attached to anesthesia breathing circuits to ventilate the patient. The bag acts as a reservoir for anesthetic gases as well as for oxygen, which when pressed results in the delivery of the gases or oxygen to the patient.

An anesthetized and paralyzed patient as during a surgery is not able to take respirations by himself. The anesthetist takes over the function of the respiratory muscles by pressing the bag in a timely manner to provide proper ventilation to the patient.

The reservoir bag should be normally be pressed once every fourth second to maintain a respiratory arte of 15 per minute. The bag should also be pressed adequately to meet the body’s requirement for delivery of Oxygen and proper removal of carbon dioxide.

Bags with different capacities are available for various age groups.  The reservoir bag is available for different age groups:

  • For Neonates: The volume of the bag is 250ml.
  • For Children (up to 3 years):The volume of the bag is 500 ml
  • For Children > 3 years: The volume of the bag is 1,000 ml
  • For Adults: The volume of the reservoir bag for adults is 2,000 ml. This can be used for other age groups as well, but should be pressed taking the patients tidal volume into consideration.

The capacity of the Reservoir bag should be more than the patient tidal volume. The bag should be made antistatic (not effected by electric current produced by gas flow).


  1. lisa wyllie October 31, 2013
  2. Dr Abu Galib March 30, 2014

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